Watching animal rescue programmes, drawing cartoons and hunting for stray animals (who she thinks needs rescuing), April sounds like many other twelve-year-olds. With both parents and an older brother working at doctor’s and a best friend who appears to be a boy genius, you would expect school to be a breeze for April. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not that she wants to land in detention, it just seems like detention wants her to land in IT.
With a diagnosis of dyspraxia, April struggles with everything from reading and writing to eating her dinner. And it doesn’t help when horrible teachers like Mrs Williams pick on her constantly just because she doesn’t understand what it means to be dyspraxic. On top of all that, April has the worry of where Tabby Cat is; is she hungry, is she hurt? And why are all the girls in her class suddenly pairing up with the boys? Ben is the only boy she is interested in but why is he suddenly being so weird with her? Surely best friends should be able to talk to one another. Currently, April has a lot to think about. Luckily for her, not all teachers are evil and with the help of Mr Montague (Mr M) and Mrs Jameel, the school Librarian, she learns that maybe reading could be something that she might be interested in, particularly when there are so many stories about animals. Now she just needs to figure out how she is going to be accepted by the cool girls. Surely being able to draw can’t be enough to make her fit in.
Although it is the second book in the series, When I Feel Red works brilliantly as a stand-alone story. Characters from the first book, When I Feel Blue feature with a hint at the premise of the previous tale. But by no means does the reader feel they are out of the loop. This is a humorous and touching story of one girl’s struggles, which are likely to be relatable to many. It is sensitively written, giving you a brilliant insight into living with dyspraxia.