A hilarious and heartrending account of one mother's journey to understand and reconnect with her high-spirited preteen son--a true story sure to beguile parents grappling with a child's bewildering behavior.
Popular literature is filled with the stories of self-sacrificing mothers bravely tending to their challenging children. Katherine Ellison offers a different kind of tale. Shortly after Ellison, an award-winning investigative reporter, and her twelve-year-old son, Buzz, were both diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, she found herself making such a hash of parenting that the two of them faced three alternatives: he'd go to boarding school; she'd go AWOL; or they'd make it their full-time job to work out their problems together. They decided to search for a solution while Ellison investigated what genuine relief, if any, might be found in the confusing array of goods sold by the modern mental health industry.
The number of diagnoses for childhood attention and behavior issues is exploding, leaving parents and educators on a confusing chase to find the best kind of help for each child. Buzz, a page-turner of a memoir, brings much relief. It is immensely engaging, laugh-out-loud funny, and honest--and packed with helpful insights.
Praise for Buzz
"Combining a mother's ferocious love with an investigative journalist's curiosity and rigor, Katherine Ellison holds a magnifying glass up to her young son, her family history, and perhaps most of all, to herself. . . . This is a powerful story--raw, brave, honest, smart, and ultimately redemptive."
--Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
"A must-read jolt of terrific storytelling and sharp analysis of one of the most important topics of our time: how to rekindle attention in a distracted age. Bravo!"
--Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age
"Edgy, sensitive, irreverent, jaw-dropping, insightful. . . . If you want to know what it's really like to be a parent on the front lines of dealing with impulsivity, inattention, and defiance . . . make a beeline for Buzz."
--Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley
"It's a lonely, confusing jungle out there for parents of behaviorally challenging kids. . . . Ellison's journey through the jungle is bumpy, difficult, humorous, insightful, riveting, and real. You gotta read this book!"
--Ross W. Greene, PhD, Harvard Medical School; author, The Explosive Child and Lost at School
"Many people will be grateful that Katherine Ellison had the courage, heart, humility, and downright heroic sense of humor to write this wise, insightful book. Prepare yourself to fall in love with the family in it--and, quite likely, to understand your own a whole lot better."
--Alan Weisman, author, The World Without Us and An Echo in My Blood
"Long after reading this smart and tender memoir, I am still rooting for Buzz."
--Kelly Corrigan bestselling author of The Middle Place
"A book I couldn't put down, a story of love and persistence, as well as an easy-to-read source book on what to do if your child has ADD...Buzz will teach, charm, and bolster you."
--Dr. Edward Hallowell author of Driven to Distraction