35 Kilos of Hope
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Gregory is very talented with his hands; he can make things, fix things, invent useful gadgets. But unfortunately these abilities are not matched by achievement in school. Doctors conclude he's got ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder - but Gregory knows he hasn't a problem. School just doesn't interest him. His parents quarrel all the time, making home life a misery too. He's hopeless at PE and the only bright point in Gregory's life is his grandfather, Leo, and his visits to Leo's workshop. Told by Gregory, the voice of a 13-year-old condemned to spend another three years feeling a failure and an outcast in the education system is realistic and thought-provoking. But this is not a negative book. While his frustration and anger at a system which is not geared to cater for people like him is apparent, Gregory takes a wry view of events and at times it seems that it is the adults in his life and not Gregory, who have a problem functioning rationally. And when Gregory is really motivated to do something, he can do it. This is a short book, broken into chapters and would be an excellent read for youngsters who might identify with Gregory. And for those whose abilities are more evenly spread it is also a worthwhile book, as a reminder that academic achievement or sporting prowess are not the only markers of success.