Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning had me drawn in from the initial tagline: An ADHD/Autistic boy takes a dog to Westminster and heals a family. First of all, isn't that sweet poodle on the cover the cutest? Second, as a speech-language pathologist who loves children and has a heart for helping children with diagnoses like ADHD and autism (even though I don't currently work with children.), I was hooked by the story presented.
I don't want to tell too much of the story because trust me, you will want to read it, but I do want to tell a little. Manning wrote the book well and I enjoyed the short chapters which would be good for young adult readers and were especially nice for me since my time reading as a mom is often in short spurts.
I loved the story of Bess and Mona, twin sisters, and Bess' son, David, who have a whole set of family struggles incorporated with the story of Benny, a boy with ADHD/autism, whose family has their own set of struggles. The reason I liked the struggles/realness/genuine nature of the story is because these days, it seems like everyone is trying to act like they don't have "stuff" doing on. This story brought Bess and David's mother/son struggles to the surface and worked through them as they tried to heal a relationship. Manning also presented uniqueBenny's relationship with his school counselor, as well as his struggling relationship with his mother, father and stepmother in such a real way.
The situations were much like they truly are for a family dealing with a child with ADHD/autism and it was nice to see those in a fictional book that was fun as well.
Bess and Benny become friends as a dog brings them together for a task neither of them was ready for, the Westminster dog show (This year's Westminster is coming up on February 16-17. Get information here.). The show helps to bring both families closer as well and Manning does an incredible job in the book of weaving together both stories.
If you have interest in stories related to ADHD/autism or even therapy dogs, you would likely really enjoy this book!