Author: Diana Harmon Asher
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 22nd August 2017
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
To Joseph Friedman, middle school might as well be the Running of the Bulls. He’s friendless and puny, with ADD to boot, so he spends most of his time avoiding class bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher Mrs. T encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a tough, athletic new girl who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner—or anybody else.
At first, track is as much of a disaster as everything else in Joseph’s life. But slowly Joseph hits his stride, and instead of running from the bulls . . . he’s just running.
What I Thought:
Sidetracked is such a cute story, it follows Joseph as he navigates his way through seventh grade, dealing the school bully and worrying about most things.
Joseph Friedman is a seventh grader at Lakeview middle school, he’s small and skinny and lives with Attention Deficit Disorder, as a result he’s a bit of an easy target for the popular boys, especially footballer Charlie Kastner.
Then Heather moves to Lakeview, Heather is tall, strong and fast, her idol is Stephanie Brown Trafton, the American athlete who won the Gold medal in the discus at the Beijing Olympics in 2018 – and she certainly has no problems telling Charlie what she thinks!
Both Joseph and Heather end up on the newly formed track team, with a group of other seventh graders and their new coach, who just happens to be the teacher from the Resource Room – Joseph’s getaway.
There was so much about this book that I loved, from the way the individuals on the track team became a real team, the way Joseph and Heather became friends and were there for each other, and the way the underdogs won in their own way! I also really liked the book twisted the normal gender stereotypes and showed that that’s okay, as a male you don’t have to be the big strong football player, and as a female you don’t have to be small and delicate – you just be you!
I really enjoyed Sidetracked it was a beautiful feel good tale. Joseph and Heather are two wonderful characters and I could quite happily read more of their story. They’re a great example of what you can achieve, even when those around you doubt it, even when you doubt it! I really hope there’s more to come from Diana Harmon Asher
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?
3 thoughts on “Sarah Reviews… Sidetracked by Diana Harmon Asher”
I’ve not heard of this one before but it sounds like a great read. I’ll have to look this one out.
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Diana Harmon Asher
Hi Sarah, I just came across your review of my book SIDETRACKED from 2019. First of all, a very belated thank you for your kind words! I wanted to let you know that I have a new book, UPSTAGED, which was just published on March 16 by Amulet. I hope you’ll like it just as much! Please let me know if I can help you get a reading copy.
Thanks again so much, and all best wishes,