cover image Queenie Jean Is in Trouble Again

Queenie Jean Is in Trouble Again

Christine Read. Heritage House, $14.95 paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77203-479-0

Incoming fifth grader Queenie and her family, who read as white, have just moved to Ontario, where Queenie is hoping for a fresh start—and a new best friend. But mishaps seem to follow her everywhere: first, gum stuck in her hair necessitates an unwanted haircut. Then she gets in trouble at her new school for not following its many rules, including, “No student shall cross the road alone.” Bubbly Queenie worries that her ADHD—which sometimes makes it hard for her to stay still, wait her turn to speak, or filter her remarks—will lead to more predicaments. Her fears are realized when the popular girls Queenie hopes to befriend bully her. Still, others show kindness, including her teacher and classmate Kenneth, who appreciate Queenie for the boisterous, good-hearted person that she is, and who help her navigate challenges surrounding dealing with her older brothers, the upcoming school speech contest, and further bullying. Queenie’s ADHD, as well as her desire not to be defined by her diagnosis, are organically portrayed, and her adventures, her confidence in herself, and her upbeat life outlook make her an exemplary protagonist for Read’s joyful slice-of-life debut. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)