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By Kim Firmston

$9.95 Paperback
In Stock Ships in 24hrs or or less
Also available from our distributor Lerner Publisher Services
$16.95 Hardback
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$7.95 Ebook
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Series: Lorimer SideStreets

Rating: 0 vote(s).

Martin's been diagnosed with ADHD, but he feels something about his diagnosis isn't right. The Ritalin he's prescribed doesn't seem to make a difference. When Martin's grades continue to sink no matter how hard he tries, his father writes him off as lazy and just plain stupid. His dad is convinced that Martin just needs to focus more on his studies and less on making movies.

One night while out pursuing his passion on the city streets with his camera, Martin meets Stick and is introduced to the energetic and exciting pastime of parkour -- free-running. While filming Stick's flips and tricks, Martin begins to see a connection between how his brain interprets the world, all jumbled and fast-moving and out of order, and what the free-runners see. Camera in hand, Martin sets out to make a video that will show his dad what he sees, and hopefully get him to understand that Martin's real learning disability, dyslexia, has never been properly diagnosed.


Winner - Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens -

Commended - One of the Year's Best -- Resource Links - 2014

"Stupid was an enjoyable book that helped me understand a little more of the difficulties a student with a disability might face. This book show how stressful a learning disability can be but also how that same disability can spur creativity in people. This book might help some students see that everyone has the ability to learn its just that not everyone learns in the same way."

- Kitty Keith, Librarian at Brooks Middle School

"Stupid will certainly appeal to male students, and anyone interested in urban stories featuring teens."

- Jaime Tong, Educator at Vancouver School Board

"The portrayals of a kid's experiences with learning differences are spot-on, and a clear story line leads the reader through Martin's difficulties with nail-biting suspense, both at school and on the tops of abandoned buildings. A compelling high/low reader with wide teen appeal."

- Erin Downey Howerton, Booklist

"Stupid crackles with energy, dragging readers along on a violent, muscles flexed, white-knuckled ride through midnight landscapes and abandoned industrial sites, into the frustration and fragmentation of dyslexia."

- Karen Doerksen, National Reading Campaign

"Firmston deftly handles this store and it never lags…This page-turner will appeal to many beyond its target audience of reluctant readers. It is highly recommended, particularly for school libraries." Rated E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!

- Sarah Nelson, Resource Links

"Stupid is another book that I can see my struggling readers picking at the beginning of the school year when they are trying to find books to keep back into reading again. I am always looking for hi-lo stories that have a decent plot and students will connect with this one."

- Melissa S., Educator NetGalley Reviewer

''Stupid is an accessible yet richly layered text. I recommend it for the targeted age group, but also hope that educators and parents will read it and consider that "lazy" and "stupid" are often misnomers and never helpful.''

- Karen Boyd, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"[A great book the story itself is terrific and full of suspense while the underlying theme clearly illustrates the impact a learning disability can have on someone, and how it can be misunderstood by others. Id make this required reading for all kids and parents who have or know someone who has a learning disability."

- Ellen Cohn Educator at Florida International University

KIM FIRMSTON is the author of the SideStreets novels Schizo, Hook Up (a Resource Links Year's Best), and Touch. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, where she gives writing workshops for teens.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 208 pages
Publication Date: 11th March 2014
ISBN: 9781459406117
Format: 7in x 4.25in

Binding: Hardback, 208 pages
Publication Date: 11th March 2014
ISBN: 9781459406124
Format: 7in x 4.25in

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 11th March 2014
ISBN: 9781459406131
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:, JUV032100, JUV039140
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 14 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 3.0


Similar titles:


Hook Up

New Blood

Every Move


SideStreets Series

Edgy & realistic teen fiction

Series Website

Series features

  • Page-turning novels that engage reluctant readers
  • Presenting real-world issues in real ways
  • Award-winning, knowledgeable authors
  • Diverse characters and settings

"Sensitive and effective, these small, short books are explicitly aimed at reluctant readers." —Kirkus Reviews

"The quality of writing is excellent, and this book should be in every junior and senior- high school library...highly recommended."
—Canadian Book Review Annual

Sidestreets are edgy, fast-paced novels, that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short heart-stopping books - sure to engage the most reluctant reader.