Member Reviews

This book was so good! I loved the themes of family relationships, shown when Henri and her sister fight but in the end have each others backs, and when some of Henri´s friends stick up for their siblings. I also loved the theme of friendship. An example of that would be when Henri makes her own friends even though her sister doesn´t approve and makes it work when things with them are struggling. In summary, it was an amazing and powerful book that had a lot of feeling and honesty.

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Cute story, but I found parts to be pretty repetitive. I was expecting a story about a student with special needs entering into a mainstream class for the first time and how she managed and coped. But Henri just read as a student who struggled some in math and possibly a little immature, but her disabilities did not shine through.

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This is a book that should be on the shelves of every middle-grade classroom!

Henri is a realistic and authentic character, and her struggles to figure out where she fits in will likely resonate with readers. As a former special education teacher, I appreciated the fact that this book features a main character who struggles with a learning disability. Navigating a new school, problems with siblings, and navigating the teen years nails many of the issues this age group deal with on a daily basis. It's also fun that the animals (a pet snake and a pet rat) included in the story are non-traditional ones!

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“Figure it out, Henri Weldon” is a middle grade slice of life of Henrietta, who has had to go to public school, because her parents are trying to save money, and she has to learn to work with her dyscalculia (a bit like dyslexia for numbers), and her parents just keep saying she has to figure it out.

There are mean girls, and mean siblings, but what I like is that Henri figures out that just because someone is mean to someone else, it doesn’t mean they are always mean, or that their siblings are mean. She ends up making friends with a family that her sister doesn’t like, who keeps warning her against them.

Despite not feeling as though she is smart, Henri figures things out, such as how to write poetry, and how to play soccer, despite what others around her think.

What is nice about this novel is that there is no brilliant solution to Henri’s woes at the end of the book, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t grow and change. Because disabilities don’t have to be fixed in order for the character to grow.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

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If anything, I felt that Figure It Out, Henri Weldon ended too soon. I hope there are sequels. I definitely got invested in the characters and want to see where they go from here. In a nutshell, Henrietta Weldon, a seventh grader with discalculia, a learning disability which makes math difficult, will be mainstreaming at the public school. With it comes new friends, new classes, new schedules, new interests (soccer and Poetry), and new fights with her sister. Will it be too much for her to handle? Or will she figure it out?

Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC

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First I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the copy of the book for me to review. As a special education teacher, I am often drawn to stories about students or adults with learning disabilities or other special needs. The synopsis for this book mentioned the main character, Henri, leaving a special education school and mainstreaming into a general education school. It also mentioned that she had dyscalculia - which is a math learning disability. I have not seen this particular learning disability represented in books at all, so this interested me.

I was a bit confused then when reading the book, to find a seventh grader who did struggle with math, but I don't think the term dyscalculia was ever used to describe what she was dealing with. Nor did it ever say (unless I missed it) that she had been at a special education school. The storyline alluded to her having attended a private school that the family could no longer afford. This changes the tone of what kind of book it is - not that she is finally mainstreaming with general education students because of her abilities, but instead because of her family's economic status. Also, if her only learning disability was dyscalculia, it would be odd for her to be at a "special education school" in the first place.

Overall I felt like this book didn't know what it wanted to be. It was more or less a fish out of water story with Henri trying to learn how to fit in to 7th grade in a new school, while dealing with normal coming of age things such as trying to balance all of her commitments and sibling rivalry. Once or twice there was a nod to her needing to work harder because she is an "African American girl," but that was not the overall tone or point of the book either, so it was kind of tossed in there. Also tossed in there was her feeling like her family didn't support her or come together as a family unit, and then toward the end when her Mom attends her soccer game she starts to change her mind about how they act as a family. There was also major sibling rivalry with her sister which was never fully explained or resolved. Her sister is upset because Henri becomes friendly with a girl who used to bully her, and the book at one point tries to explore this - should she be friends with the bully? Was the girl a bully? What happened? But this is never resolved either and we still don't know what the storyline with the bully is all about.

Overall, this was a cute middle school read, Henri is a likeable character, but overall it seemed like a pretty typical middle school book about trying to learn where you fit in, at school, and in your family.

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Will be withholding full review in support of the Harper Collins Union strike. For more information please visit

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4.5 stars

I really enjoy Davis’s middle grade novels, and this is in large part due to the layered and endearing main characters. Henri Weldon is no exception to this rule. Readers are required to love her.

Henri, the youngest of the Weldon crew, is also the outlier, at least in her mind. Unlike her siblings, who are mainly known for their accomplishments, Henri seems to be known for what she cannot do - or at least what she struggles with - and understandably this really weighs on her. But Henri’s challenges - most notably her difficulty with math (ahem…can I get an amen…?) - pale in comparison to her strengths. She’s a driven and creative individual, and she’s resilient. When she slips up, she really feels the mistakes, especially when they imperil (to varying degrees) those she loves. She can be frustrating at times, but no one is more infuriated by her actions (or lack thereof) than she is. It’s a joy to watch her learn, grow, and triumph in so many ways.

An added bonus for me in this book is the relationship between both Henri and another classmate/friend and their respective pets: a snake and a rat. These animals are characters of their own, and I love the prominence of the animals in the characters’ lives. As a person who is very attached to my own animals as an adult (and always was as a child, too), this element adds so much. We’re not talking about the family cat or dog here, either. These are very much these characters’ personal pets, and their connections are memorable, realistic, and generally awesome.

I came in a fan of Davis’s work and leave this book feeling that sentiment even more strongly. Of course I’ll be recommending this one to students and interested parties.

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When my daughter was young, Thank you Mr. Faulkner, by Patricia Polacco just saved us both. She has dyslexia (and likely dyscalculia) When she was a bit older, however, there didn't seem to be a book that fit into the same genre. A book that grew with her; knowing that there were others out there who might struggle. Figure It Out, Henri Weldon, touched my heart and took me back to those days (she is now 22yo). Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harper Collins for a title that will help any child who might feel they aren't "normal." All opinions are my own.

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I recieved a free eARC of this book, thank you for the opportunity to read it.

Henri is starting 7th grade at a new school. She's previously attended a small private one. See, Henri struggles with math, and sometimes other things. The author's note at the beginning explains that Henri has dyscalculia, Henri also obviously struggles with executive functioning in some ways. However, she is comfortable in a world of words, is a talented poet, and while left and right are confusing, she can run. I believe neurodiverse kids will see themselves in Henri's strengths and weaknesses. Henri pulled me in as she explained "Wil Snakespeare's" morph, because that's exactly the kid of detail that many neurodiverse kids thrive on, and a lot of kids will relate to,

When Henri gets to school, without much support from her sister, she connects with the Morgan family. Anna wants her to join the soccer team, Vinnie, and his rat, Fratty, help her with math, and Lily welcomes her to her lunch table. Except that Henri's sister, Katherine, hates Lily and doesn't want Henri around them, Pulled between family and friends, and between the need to focus on her weaknesses, but that she also now has people who encourage and admire her for her strengths, ans the need to juggle family and school, Henri works to find her place in the world.

This is a solid, enjoyable middle grade book. It has a lot of points where kids can connect to it, whether it be neurodiversity, sibling dynamics, or wanting to smuggle your pet rat to school, It deserves inclusion in schools and communities, particularly in libraries.

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Thank you, NetGalley, for giving me an eARC of this book.
However, I will be holding my review for this title until HarperCollins Union has a fair contract. #HarperCollinsUnion

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4.5 stars
Henri is a 7th grade girl who has dyscalculia who learns that there is much more to her than her learning disability. This story is sweet and a lot of fun. Henri is a great character and very relatable. I did feel that the novel ended rather abruptly and felt like there should be a few more chapters closing out the story. I guess I just wanted more Henri. This would make a great series.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins Children's Books, Katherine Tegen Books, for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review which is not affiliated with any brand.

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I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Henri has dyscalculia and has attended a special private school in the past to help her with her learning disability, but when she starts 7th grade, she will be attending public school. Henri is worried about the change and had hoped that her sister Kat would help her out, but Kat just tries to boss her around, so Henri has to figure it out on her own. Henri has to figure out how to:
-fit in
-find friends
-keep up with her homework overload
-survive her math class & tutoring
-not get lost in this big school
-convince her family she can do it all
-and take care of her pet snake, Wil Snakespeare

I enjoyed this story and will be purchasing for my school library.

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Henrietta Weldon is a 7th grader that has changed schools. She is “mainstreaming” into a public school and it is challenging. Henri has older siblings who annoy her and she doesn't think they like her. She has a new school, new friends, more homework, and a tutor, and trying to figure it out. The characters in this book are a wild bunch. From the weird Morgans to Katherine and Jordan, her siblings. Her parents, Aunt Tori, and her teachers are adults that are trying to help her through this transition. The characters are relatable, likable, and lovable.
The storyline is funny, serious, and entertaining. I finished this book in a couple of days. The theme of this book is Henri had to open her eyes, use her words, and just ask. I really enjoyed this middle-grade novel.
I recommend this book to middle-grade and high-school readers. I give this book 4 stars.

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Tanita Davis has done a very nice job of creating a kids' book developed around children's problems. Henri Weldon has a learning disability specifically related to math. The issue is recognized by her family. In fact, until recently she attended a special school. She's now getting ready to attend a traditional school where her problem is still recognized and addressed. This is not a child surrounded by uncaring adults and left to fend for herself.

That's a big part of what I liked about this book. Because while Henri is supported, she still has problems. Which, sad to say, is life. Her problems are not those we often see in children's books, the problems adults value big time: Death, divorce, death, old age, death, illness, death, war, death, tragedies, and death. They are the real-life problems that children have and that are important to them.

Getting lost in the new school building. Sounds minor, but isn't being unable to find a classroom a classic adult dream? What's that about, huh? Henri's struggles to get around made me anxious for young family members who will be finding themselves at new schools.

Making friends. Not just in the sense of making any friends but making friends that will actually be friends for you. Minor? Then why are we always reading articles about how difficult it is for adults to make friends? It's not minor when it's us, is it?

Sibling issues. The one presented here is fantastic, because it's not about rivalry. It's about support. Should Henri be befriending someone who had a falling out with her sister, even bullied her?

Parent issues. Not parents fighting or getting a new boyfriend but parents who have their own work and time problems that they are dealing with in addition to being parents.

On top of that, foster children are portrayed in a realistically positive way here.

And, finally, Tanita is writing in the third person. Again, that doesn't sound like a big deal but not many children's books are written in the third person.

Many people are going to admire Figure It Out, Henri Weldon's portrayal of children with learning disabilities and in foster care. But it should also be admired for being a good book.

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Henrietta Weldon struggles with everything. With math, with her older sister, and with making friends. However, as she starts 7th grade in a new school, Henrietta (Henri) comes into her own with the help of family, friends, and a rat.
The failure of the book stands out. For clarification, the book has a consistent theme of the main character feeling like a failure. Kids today are bombarded with social media showing how easy it is to be perfect. Literature such as this, which faces the reality of middle schoolers making mistakes, is an important reminder. This book is already sitting in my cart waiting for release day.

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With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in return for an honest review.

As a middle school math teacher I truly appreciate when I book addresses the difficulty that many students face when it comes to math because I think there are a lot of students who will be able to relate. Henri is juggling a new school, challenging classes (particularly math!), her pet snake, a new soccer team, and family and friend relationships. Unexpected new friendships remind her to solve things one step at a time instead of trying to tackle the whole problem at once.

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A deeply relatable and thoughtful middle grade novel, FIGURE IT OUT, HENRI WELDON should find a home in every middle school classroom library. Tanita S. Davis has written a perfect main character, filled with authentic emotions that all middle schoolers will be able to relate to. Whether it's navigating the world with dyscalculia or making new friends at school, Henri's experiences feel like real middle school and young readers are sure to walk away uplifted, cheering for Henri Weldon as she figures it out!

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This is a warm and funny middle grade novel about navigating a new school, a learning disability, sisters, and adolescence. As someone who grew up with 3 big sisters, I could totally relate to all the friction and room-sharing issues! Henri's juggling so many things, and neither she nor her family really has any confidence she can handle all of it. You root for Henri because she's trying so dang hard! And bolstered by new friends (who are also a source of friction), loads of coping strategies, a sense of humor, and her pet rat, Henri does indeed figure it out.

I especially love the Poetry Friday aspect--a real-life phenomenon that lets Henri start to see herself in a different way. This whole novel is a novel of discovery--about all the things that make Henri who she is, but also about various issues that all the characters are struggling with--even the less likeable ones. It's a great reminder that we never know all the challenges someone else is facing. While Henri might just seem forgetful or careless at first glance, we see behind the curtain to all the ways she's working so hard EVEN to be at the stage where people think she's just forgetful or careless.

Besides poetry and math, there's also a pet rat, a soccer team, and a lot of Henri's funny narrative voice. "Outside Discussions were a lot." "...and Henri would have died of relief, but Coach Bonnie didn't allow dying on the field." And there's some beautiful writing and some real insight. "Lily is her 'real' sister. Families we get stuck with we can still choose to make our real families." Amen.

All in all, a satisfying and even inspiring read!

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Great book about making yourself part of a team where people can depend on you and you can depend on them.Henri (Henrietta) makes new friends even though her sister warned her about one of them, joined a soccer team, and became friends with her math tutor who helps her with her dyscalculia. When Henri finds she’s forgetting to do many things, she wonders can I do it all without asking for help?

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