by Diana Harmon Asher


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ALA Notable Book

“This is a splendid novel that I read in one sitting. . . . You will cheer when this kid embraces ‘Do your best’ and shows it to be a ringing call to nothing less than Triumph.” —Gary D. Schmidt, Printz Honor winner and two-time Newbery Honor winner

"Diana Harmon Asher tells an entertaining story about a boy picking his way through the potholes and pitfalls of puberty, with a little help from his friends." —Richard Peck, Newbery Medal winner

"Just read it! Diana Harmon Asher has written a witty, observant, and sensitive novel for kids, as well as a delight for the adults in their lives." —Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author

If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn’t even be in last place—he’d be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So he spends most of his time avoiding school 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 encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else.

With a new friend and a new team, Joseph finds himself off the sidelines and in the race (quite literally) for the first time. Is he a good runner? Well, no, he’s terrible. But the funny thing about running is, once you're in the race, anything can happen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419731396
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 76,333
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Diana Harmon Asher is the mother of three sons and is deeply immersed in reading and writing programs at the nonprofit organization the Children’s Village and at Blythdale Children’s Hospital, both in Westchester, New York. This is her debut novel.

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Sidetracked 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! Sidetracked is an absolutely charming story about Joseph and Heather, two kids on the fringes of their community. Joseph has ADD and finds his mind wandering every chance it gets. Heather's tall, strong, and fast, and the new kid besides. Together, they make for a misfit team that was a delight to read. I really loved being in Joseph's head. As a narrator, he's funny, insightful, and serious by turns. His character arc was gentle but somehow more special for it, with a conclusion that had me smiling. Heather was a wonderful balance for Joseph, prodding him forward when he needed it, but still having her fair share of growth to go through. The author skillfully veers away from normal sports-books cliches, leaving us with races that don't necessarily have perfect wins but feel perfect nevertheless. This sweet story has a lot of heart and would be great for boys and girls who don't quite fit into "normal."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Insightful and beautifully written. Captures the characters and challenges with precision and "sweetness". Delightful read for all ages. DO