Review of Button Pusher

Button Pusher Button Pusher
by Tyler Page; illus. by the author
Intermediate, Middle School    First Second    256 pp.    g
4/22    978-1-250-75834-7    $21.99
Paper ed.  978-1-250-75833-0    $14.99

This graphic memoir describes what it can be like to grow up with ADHD. When Tyler is eight years old, he whips out his penknife and proceeds to cut the seat of his school bus, landing him first in the principal’s office and eventually in group ­counseling. It’s not an isolated incident but rather part of a sustained pattern of behavior: distracted, impulsive, and out of control. It will ultimately lead to an ADHD diagnosis and a Ritalin prescription. The Ritalin is a mixed bag: it does help Tyler focus, but it brings some unwanted physical changes, such as constipation and weight gain. As if that isn’t bad enough, Tyler is trying to navigate the difficult years of adolescence, even as his home life is fraught with tension. His father also has telltale signs of ADHD, frequently throws temper tantrums, and is verbally abusive; his mother contemplates divorce and comes close to leaving, despite medication for Tyler’s dad and family counseling. It’s a lot for Tyler to process, but he gets a handle on things by the time he graduates from high school—sort of. Page’s storytelling incorporates an appealing mix of humor, angst, school story, relationship drama, and medical information; it’s a winning tried-and-true formula à la Telgemeier’s Smile, etc. Informational vignettes about ADHD—what it is, how it affects people, why treatments work—appear intermittently throughout the book.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.