A Tale as Tall as Jacob

This entertaining story shares the experience between two siblings as they discover that the brother, Jacob, has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) while his older sister Samantha has to deal with going through all the trials and tribulations of school, moving and new siblings. This book is unique in that we get the perspective of a sibling learning how to cope with ADHD in the family, instead of from the perspective of a parent, or the one diagnosed. We see her dealing with the changes her family is experiencing as Jacob struggles in school, difficulties he has in forming relationships with others, and her parents continuously doing their absolute best to learn everything they can while trying out new accommodations to keep things in their household fair and functional. 

This story starts off with an introduction by Samantha, as she explains what life is like in her family with her new baby brother, Jacob entering their world. It’s a very realistic, and not a sugar coated version of what life was really like. She even includes her mother’s brief episode of what she calls baby blues, or postpartum depression, a subject that was once quite taboo to talk about. There’s a lot of humor and empathy to be felt as Samantha shares some of the craziness that Jacob brings to their world with needing to have diapers duct taped on, and his super human baby strength that shocks everyone. 

Their misadventures include the harder times they face as Jacob gets himself into real trouble and has a difficult time adjusting to school. We see Samantha maturing as she feels upset that she gets so frustrated with Jacob when she doesn’t want to get angry with him, hit him back, or say rude things to him. She has real guilt and clearly loves her little brother, despite how challenging he can make it for her to have patience sometimes. 

This is a fantastic story that shares a glimpse into life with ADHD. The characters are easy to relate to, the story moves at a good pace, keeping any reader engaged, and it is sure to bring out a lot of laughs. The artwork was created by the author, Samantha Edwards. She has a colorful and fun artistic style. The chapter title pages are creatively done, they’re stylized as a young child would draw with crayons. To end things off, she includes some photos from her actual childhood with her brother Jacob, whom this story is based on with a note about how this story is fictional, but based on her real life experiences. 

Overall, this is a terrific graphic novel that I would highly recommend for any elementary or middle school library collection. The story keeps the reader wondering what will happen to this family next. The main characters face some challenging situations that they aren’t sure how to navigate, but as a family unit they work through the problems and find a way to live happily, despite having incredibly different personalities and temperaments. 

A Tale as Tall as Jacob: Misadventures With My Brother
By Samantha Edwards
Andrews McMeel, 2021
ISBN: 9781524865047

Publisher Age Rating: 8-12:

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)

  • Kendra

    | She/Her

    Reviewer

    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently: http://www.theinspiredlibrarian.com

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