Stanley Will Probably Be Fine

illus. by Steve Wolfhard. 288p. Harper. Feb. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062445797.
Gr 3–6—Stanley Fortinbras is not excited about seventh grade at Peavey Middle School. Stan has sensory processing disorder and when his environment becomes too chaotic, he begins to worry. He gets "red alerts" from Principal Coffin's safety drills, crowds, too much noise, and all the ways that his brother, Calvan, picks on him. Recently, his best friend Joon has begun to drift away and hang out with the more popular kids. Stan is an expert on comic trivia and comics comfort him when life gets to be too much. When Stan is called to the stage to participate in one of Principal Coffin's safety drills, he passes out. Humiliated in front of the whole school, Stanley is escorted to the office where he meets with the school psychologist. She gives him a relaxation technique and shows him a room he can visit whenever he feels overwhelmed and needs time to himself. In his "ready room," Stan finds a giant sketch pad on an easel and a box of markers. Drawing helps Stan relax, so he begins to sketch and creates his very own superhero named John Lockdown. Now, Stanley has entered Trivia Quest and must face his fear of crowds, talking to people, and busses. He is paired with his fearless new neighbor, Liberty. But Liberty has a secret that may affect the outcome of the Trivia Quest. The story encourages students to see the best in others and to understand that sometimes people are going through difficulties that cannot be seen.
VERDICT An excellent addition to promote social-emotional learning.

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