Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire by Stacey Turis

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Here's To Not Catching Our Hair on Fire: An absent minded tale of life with Giftedness & Attention Deficit - Oh look! A chicken! by Stacey TurisSubtitle: An absent-minded tale of life with giftedness & attention deficit – Oh look! A Chicken!

Stars: ★★★★★

Bohemian Avenue Press (2011)
219 pages

When commercials or TV depict a person with ADD or ADHD, it’s usually a child and they are shown running around a classroom or looking out a window instead of paying attention. No one ever shows an adult with ADD and there is more to ADD and even Giftedness than is shown in the media. Giftedness on TV always looks like a student bored in class or just working on advanced schoolwork.

Stacey’s book shows us there is more to the two conditions and that they can sometimes work together to make a person “twice exceptional.” Gifted doesn’t just mean smarter. ADD doesn’t just mean a wandering mind.

“I was kicked out of my history class, because I couldn’t give the teacher a break. I loved calling attention to his inaccuracies and inconsistencies. I my teenager mind, he was so stupid and boring, I couldn’t even tolerate him. I challenged him daily, jus to get some juice going in that class.” –pg 47

The memoir is funny because Stacey is funny. You’ll love the story of when she forgot to pay her speeding ticket and got arrested in front of her family and neighbours and actually enjoyed it. The book is peppered with photos where appropriate and has a sort of chronological order to it. I say sort of because as a person with attention deficit disorder, she goes off on tangents a bit but does a pretty good job of pulling herself back to the main topic at hand, considering.

“My mouth dropped as both cops immediately went into full SWAT mode, running to either side of the house with their hands on their guns. The female inched toward the front, ducking under windows, while the male stayed close to the house, following it toward the back. What the hell were they doing> Did they act this dramatically at my house?” – pg 179

The book is funny but it’s also educational . Next time you think poorly of a person because of the way the act, consider that perhaps they just can’t help it.

Sometimes with memoirs I wonder why there is so much detail of certain parts of their lives because it gets boring and I feel like, why do I want to hear your story, you are a stranger? Not with this book. I was intrigued to hear about all her jobs and how she did with them, it was interesting to hear about her upbringing and it was slightly shocking to read how she and her husband ended up getting married.

“I was a F-R-E-A-K. I can’t describe it any other way. I was so insanely hyper, that I never shut the hell up the entire audition. I was so animated, I’m not sure how I even stayed in my chair. I was so in the moment that I couldn’t control my language, and then honestly pondered out loud whether or not I might be suffering from Tourette’s syndrome.” –  pg 144

HEADS UP – there is talk of abuse and some swearing.

If someone in your family has ADD, ADHD or Giftedness, I highly suggest you read this memoir to get a glimpse into their head. Even if you don’t, it’s a good read, very funny and educational.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.