Book Review: “Journal of an ADHD Kid”

By Tobias Stumpf, Woodbine House, 2014 136 pp.

Reviewed by Rebecca Rizoli, Program Specialist, FCSN

bookHaving ADHD can be a struggle. In addition to the frustration of dealing with the symptoms of the disorder, people with ADHD often feel alone and like a misfit. Being “different” can be especially frustrating for children and adolescents, who are trying so desperately to fit in and find their place.

Fortunately for these young people, there’s “Journal of an ADHD Kid,” by Tobias Stumpf, a middle school student who was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade. This book consists of a series of diary entries penned by Stumpf, who chronicles his thoughts, feelings, and challenges about having ADHD. Following each entry, Stumpf poses a set of questions for the reader, such as “When and why did people start to wonder if you had ADHD? Did you ever feel like something was ‘different’ about you?”

Any reader with ADHD will feel a connection with Stumpf and his story. I have ADHD, and I saw my own struggles and challenges in the pages of his book. On page 5, he writes, “ADHD makes me feel not so normal. You see, sometimes I get off track. I was just writing in this journal and then a big noise happened and I forgot what I was doing.” When I read this, I smiled and nodded, as I could completely relate to Stumpf. Like him, when I am writing or engaging in any activity that requires total concentration and I hear an unexpected noise, I often get distracted and lose my train of thought to the point that I have to start all over again.

Stumpf also demonstrates the creativity and humor that is present in so many people with ADHD. He likens ADHD to what he calls a “magnet mind,” because so many thoughts cling to his brain, just as paper clips will cling to a magnet. He also refers to the “volcano in his locker” that has an “eruption” when he’s trying to find a particular book or folder.

This book is a must read for all young people with ADHD who need to be reassured that they are not alone!