Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

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I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

with 13.2% of boys being diagnosed compared to 5.6% of girls, I started to wonder if boys were being medicated for simply being boys, and if their ‘disorder’ was really just a very normal phase of development..

An informative and thought provoking read, although this is more because of the numerous footnotes rather than the story. 

The main story follows a gang of ADHD youths who have been prescribed Concentr8 by the state but then have it withdrawn due to a change of policy. Their response is to travel to City Hall where they end up kidnapping a civil servant and holding him hostage in an abandoned factory.

The reaction to this is a little strange as the hostage negotiator and other authorities allow the situation to last overnight despite having the building surrounded by police and instead follow the gangs demands for take away food and drink.

The story is told from the point of view of the gang members, hostage, mayor and journalist but doesn’t really gain much from it to be honest – the reporters story is pretty uninvolving.

The gangs treatment of the mayor towards the end was amusing but other than that the ending is rather predictable.

The footnotes and references to the treatment of ADHD as well as the professor’s perspective is very interesting however and made the book more than worthy of attention. The question of whether children  (especially boys) are diagnosed as ADHD simply for being a little less well behaved than the majority is worrying. I dislike the authors premise of the parents simply allowing this in order to receive benefits however – anyone who has tried getting DLA, particularly for non-physical conditions, knows how incredibly difficult this actually is.

Story: 2/5 but additional notes raise it to a 3.

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