Cover Image: Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

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Member Reviews

We see a fair number of middle grade novels about characters with disabled siblings but typically this revolves around the protagonist struggling with responsibility and their sibling's limitations. In this case, Daisy is struggling instead with her parent's fear and over-protectiveness. Daisy wants to see how much her brother can achieve, not what will hold him back. There are bullies but in a fairly minor role. What is more interesting is all of the places where characters choose kindness, where things that could easily have been exploitative or mocking are genuinely good. An optimistic read.
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We need more books like Daisy Woodworm Changes the World. It has such a positive message about how everyone can make a difference. It doesn't have to be a huge change that affects the entire world, but can be something as simple as helping someone else achieve their goals.  There's also an emphasis on working together.

I also loved the way diverse characters were represented in this book. The book features characters from different racial backgrounds, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ parents. But, that's just part of who the characters are, not the focus of the plot.  It was nice to see a diverse community that felt natural.
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Melissa Hart understands and knows firsthand the challenge of living with an individual with a disability.  As the mother of a child with an intellectual disability, I related to Daisy Woodworm Changes the World. This is a book that should be required reading for middle schoolers, a part of the curriculum necessary to help students understand diversity, as well as teach tolerance and acceptance. I would highly recommend this book to siblings who grapple with the challenge of living with an individual with a disability. Hart has written an important story to show how each of us can broaden our understanding of individual differences and the challenges that we sometimes must accept and learn to live with.
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Big thanks to Flux, Jolly Fish Press, and NetGalley for a review copy of Daisy Woodworm Changes the World!

Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward may just be the world's best daughter and sister. After her mom lost her job and started her own dog poop clean-up company with her husband, Daisy had to step up and help with cooking, cleaning, and caring for her older brother, "Squirrel", who has Down syndrome. When her social studies teacher assigns the class a project to find a way to change the world for the better, Daisy worries that her longtime bully will ridicule her for her lisp during her presentation. Still, she's determined to help her brother fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite her parents' worries and warnings that doing so will make him vulnerable to harassment from online strangers. Daisy is a brave and inspiring young lady! This book is
semi-autobiographical and full of disability positivity!
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5 stars = Outstanding!

This was fantastic! I loved the characters and the triumphant ending. I think this is a great fit for readers 10-14. This would make a fantastic classroom or bedtime read aloud or a book club selection. Don't miss this one! (Mild language)
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Thank you, Jolly Fish Press/Flux, for the advance reading copy.

I like the writing. I like the characters and I love how the character development is done. 

However, my issue is with the connection with the characters and the chemistry that was supposed to be there between the main characters.

A good middle grade read with well done representation.
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When prompted with the question, “How can one save the world?” Daisy immediately thinks of Sorrel, her brother who has Down Syndrome, and how she could best support his ambition to become a fashion icon and youtube star.

Daisy and Sorrel are faced with many obstacles, and with the representation of Down Syndrome, another strength of this book is how Daisy, with the help of her friends, family, and teacher, can make the world a better place. I liked that this story showed how important it is to reframe goals and ask for aid when needed. I loved Sorrel and the strong bond between the two siblings. Regarding the pacing, the last half of the book flowed very nicely. I also wanted to know more about Daisy, but this may be something to look forward to in the future. This book is well-suited for a middle-grade audience/classroom. Daisy wants to study insects so cool facts about insects are provided. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced review copy. All opinions are my own.
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The main plot of this story follows Daisy, a middle schooler who loves her older brother Sorrel (whom she and others call Squirrel). When Daisy’s social study teacher assigns everyone in the class the task of doing something that will change the world, Daisy decides that she wants to help Squirrel achieve his dream of becoming aYouTube star. The problem, however, is that Daisy and Squirrel’s parents have forbidden Squirrel from being anywhere on social media, out of fear that he will be bullied for having Down Syndrome. If Daisy wants to stand up for her brother and complete her project, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone, do a little bit of public speaking (something she struggles with because of her lisp), and defend herself against ableist bullies.

As a book for middle grade readers, I am not the target audience of this, but it was still fun to read. The writing style and plot, in my opinion, are fairly simple, making me think this would be a book suitable for middle grade readers who are on the younger side. I actually thought that Daisy was younger than 13 because of the way the book was written. The conflicts are fairly tame and issues resolve themselves quickly without negative consequences. It’s really interesting to me, now that I’ve been exploring MG books more, how drastically different the writing can be for books focused around characters of similar ages.

There were a few times while reading this, though, that I found myself a bit confused. For example, in one scene, there is a character who gets sent to the principal’s office and it is written that he leaves the classroom. However, a few lines later, he is suddenly mentioned again as if he is still in the room. In another scene, a character makes a big deal about someone putting their hand on someone else shoulder, but the two characters in question have held each others hands in the past. The continuity in these scenes didn’t really make sense to me, so I’m not sure if these are things that editors missed or if I just was misunderstanding something.

That being said, I think Daisy Woodworm Changes the World is a good coming-of-age story for younger audiences with important moral lessons sprinkled throughout. It’s a book about defending the people you care about, and it’s a book about chasing your dreams.
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Middle Grade Contemporaries are always my favorite. This story is sweet about a girl who loves bugs and gets bullied for having a lisp. When she’s given a project to change the world she finds herself stumped. Everything about school has come easy to her but to come up with an idea seems almost impossible.

Then it finally hits her. Her brother Sorrel, who has spent the past few weeks in a state of depression after his girlfriend dumps him and learns the Special Olympics Summer Games have been cancelled, wants to be a YouTube celebrity and she’s going to help make it happen! When she tells Sorrel, who has Down Syndrome, that she’s going to help him fulfill his dreams he finally gets back to himself. Without telling her parents Daisy recruits her best friend Poppy and the popular boy in school to help her. Turns out Daisy and Miguel have more in common than she thought.

I loved Daisy’s character. I enjoyed her love of all things bugs and of course the love she has for her brother. The friendships and family dynamics were well developed and the story was heartwarming. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this one and definitely recommend it.
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For this book being a middle grade read, it dealt with some heavy topics. That being said, I feel like the author handled it beautifully. We meet Daisy, who wants to help her older brother with Down’s fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube star for a homework assignment. I appreciated that this book delved into disability but did it in a way that de-stigmatized it and just described Squirrel’s life. I’m sure that has to do with Squirrel being based on the author’s brother, Mark. The book also mentions instances of trolling and cyber bullying. Like I mentioned before, this read does deal with heavy subject matter but it’s still lighthearted and fun. I can’t recommend it enough! 

𝔽𝕒𝕧𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕥𝕖 𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕖𝕤:
✨ I hated having to be so responsible. Everyone else's needs seemed so much more important than mine, and I never got time alone anymore to do what I wanted to do
✨ I wished I had an exoskeleton. Maybe then Devon's insults wouldn't hurt so badly (saaaame)
✨ "Thank you," I whispered to myself, to Daisy Woodworm.
For the first time in my life, I knew she could do anything.
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This middle-grade book is brimming with heart, soul, and courage! Daisy's social studies teacher has challenged her class to change the world. As an 8th grader, Daisy feels like there is no way that she can meet this insurmountable challenge. As she starts to help her brother Sorrel to launch his social media presence, she ignores their parents' concerns that Sorrel will be bullied for having Down Syndrome. Daisy and Sorrel also partner with her classmate Miguel to help raise money to save the local Special Olympics games that were canceled due to budgetary concerns. Will Daisy's parents find out that she went against their wishes? Will Sorrel become a famous YouTuber? Will the summer games be saved?

I couldn't put down this excellent book. I loved the diverse cast of characters and the amazing lessons that readers will learn. I hope that you will also fall in love with Daisy's story!
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Daisy Woodworm is a fun and heartwarming story that will be great for the kids! It's a story about friendship, family and making your mark on the world! All of the characters are fun, easy to know and they definitely stay with you long after the last page. I really enjoyed the message of the book, regardless of how different we are or because of a disability we shouldn't let that stop us from doing what we want and from being yourself! Thank you Tbr and Beyond Tours and Melissa Hart for sharing this wonderful book with me!
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Sorrel, Daisy's brother in this book, is based on a true person. He is the author's brother, Mark, and he is actually the reason why Melissa Hart wrote this book. She wants to make the world see that people with Down Syndrome are not different from us. They have dreams too, and they are keen to make them come true. They just need a great deal of assistance from the people around them.

I love the message that the author tries to tell the readers. It gives us some awareness about them, about their way of thinking, and how we should treat them. Just because they are different, doesn't mean they are less than us.

This book has such a heavy main topic. But, the writing style makes it so easy to read. It was so fun and heartwarming. I think it would be perfect for children. The message is so clear, it won't be hard for them to understand what the author's trying to tell the readers. I really enjoyed reading it. I even finished it in one day and that was so rare to happen to me.
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With tons of heart, this book rotates around a wonderful, sibling relationship, determination and working together.

Daisy's life has been tough since her mother lost her job and both parents have decided to start their own company cleaning up after dogs. While she still has track and her best friend, she doesn't have much free time outside of chores and helping her family with other things. When her older brother wants to dive into his hobby of fashion on the internet, past cyber-bullying issues cause her parents to shut the idea down before it even gets started. But Daisy will do almost anything to help her brother achieve his dreams, especially when a class project gives her the perfect excuse.

Daisy is a character to root for and identify with from the very first page. Her love for her brother and her willingness to do whatever she can to meet her goals is inspiring. She has a good moral compass, is compassionate, empathetic and simply a nice person...although she does rebel against her parents a little bit. But then, the parent-child relationship and how her parents deal with things isn't my favorite aspect, anyway. Daisy might only be an eighth grader, but she needs to carry quite a bit of responsibility...which also makes her come across often older than she is.

The tale, characters and situations are well-laid out and do connect on an emotional level. While the pacing was slower than I enjoy, every step is well laid out and comes across naturally. Themes such as Down Syndrome, having a lisp, bullying, jealousy, and financial hardship are all addressed in an age appropriate manner and bring food for thought.
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Daisy, an eighth-grader, gets an assignment in social studies to change the world. How could she, the one with the lisp, with parents who scraped by picking up dog poo for a living, and with clothes from the thrift store possibly change the world? But maybe she doesn’t have to change the world for everyone; perhaps she can change the world for someone she loves deeply.

Her brother Squirrel who has Down Syndrome wants to become a Youtube celebrity giving fashion advice, and maybe she can make it happen. Daisy has to think outside the box and overcome many roadblocks. But in the end, she sees that “one kid – or a bunch of them, working together – can actually change the world and that “our challenges make us interesting.”

I loved the many messages in this book, and I think it will be a great read for middle graders. I hope this book will inspire many kids to follow their dreams and make them see that anyone can change the world with the help of friends, family, teachers and - most of all - perseverance.
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🪲🐞Meet 13-year-old Daisy Woodward - aspiring entomologist, track runner extraordinaire, and hater of public speaking due to her lisp (for which she is mercilessly bullied). She’s also the younger sister of Sorrel (aka Squirrel). Squirrel has Down syndrome, loves track running and the Special Olympics, and wants more than anything to a YouTube fashion influencer. 

So when Daisy’s social studies teacher assigns her class a project of changing the world for the better, Daisy decides she’s going to make Squirrel’s dream a reality. The only problem is her parents have banned Squirrel from appearing on all social media…

Follow Daisy as she negotiates family life, friendships and her own self-doubt. To pull this off, she might just need a little help from her best friend Poppy, and her longstanding-enemy, Miguel.

A beautifully written, highly relatable story for any middle grade reader. Despite being set in America, this book deals with many issues that are prevalent and faced by young people around the world today: bullying, financial hardship, job loss and difficult relationships. 

Melissa Hart’s portrayal of Squirrel is both realistic and sympathetic, highlighting what it’s like to live with a sibling with a disability. The love Daisy and Squirrel have for each other is evident throughout - “I wanted Squirrel to have as good a life as I did.” 

I love how there are lots of facts and information about insects and mini beasts woven through the tale, and how behaviours exhibited by the characters in the book are compared to insects and mini beasts - there are some glorious similes!

Lastly, the characters… what a fabulous collection of individuals: Squirrel, Angelina, Billy, Ricky, Miguel and the rest of the gang. Daisy is a total star who you’ll be rooting for throughout, but look out for Mr Lipinsky and his peacock art car - I adored him!
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This book is a great look at family life with someone in the family who has down syndrome. I love how close Daisy was with her brother and how much she wanted to help him succeed at so many things in life. 
Daisy is a beautiful character, with a courageous heart. 
This book will make you look at the world differently. 

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!
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I would like to thank Netgalley, Flux, Jolly Fish Press and Melissa Hart for the E Arc copy of this book.
We meet Daisy who is 13 years old, she loves many things such as insects, running and spending time with her older brother. Daisy has a stutter which makes her hate speaking in public, so when her social studies class is given a project to change the world and they have to do an oral presentation Daisy is mortified. She has been bullied by one particular boy all her school years so far and he calls her Woodworm. 
Daisy’s brother Sorrel has Down Syndrome, he loves the Special Olympics and Men’s Fashion and he has a dream to have his own fashion show on YouTube and be famous. Daisy decided that her project is to help her brother reach his dream. However, her parents do not want their son on the internet, after a bullying incident the previous year. How will Daisy make his dreams come true? Whilst Daisy wrestles with her project, she helps her best friend Poppy with her project and Miguel, a boy that used to bully her but now wants to be friends. Together they all maybe able to save the world and help others.
I really enjoyed this book; I loved the representation of so many different aspect and disabilities of life. I loved the characters and the plot line, well written and believable. This is a great middle grade book that can teach a lot about acceptance and helping others. I would recommend it.
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A beautifully handled sensitive book about love, family and inclusion. The children loved the story and this sparked much positive discussion. Loved it
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Thank you to #NetGalley, Melissa Hart, and the publisher of the book for the eARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Daisy Woodworm is assigned a class presentation project to do something that will change the world for the better. Daisy's biggest worry? That the class bully will continue to make fun of her lisp. 
Daisy goes ahead though with the help of an old friend and a new one too. They set out to help brother become a YouTube star. When her brother is harassed by online bullies, her parents are not happy. Especially since they told her not to put her brother on social media.
How is Daisy Woodworm going to change the world?
I thought this was a great read and a great way to show students that there are many ways that they can change the world!
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