A positive, affirming guide for teens on setting and achieving goals.

Executive function—the neurological ability to focus, plan, think flexibly, regulate emotions, and control impulses—is often a struggle for a rapidly maturing adolescent brain, especially for those with certain neurodivergent conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, and autism. The approach taken here is similar to that of many other self-help titles addressing organization, motivation, or effective study habits, with heavy emphases on list-making, journaling, inspirational case studies, and positive reframing. However, setting these “brain hacks” within the context of executive function and the titular superskills (finding gifts, setting goals, chunking, boosting motivation, managing mood, and finding focus) may help some readers connect. The text, addressed directly to readers, is upbeat and informal without being excessively chatty, weakened only by some dated pop-culture references and one unfortunate ableist slur. While peppered with affirming aphorisms, the text makes an effort to explain the underlying psychological mechanisms and the supporting research, which does lend some gravitas; but the relentless breezy cheerleading occasionally borders on the facile. The concluding bibliography is a list of works cited and consulted rather than pointers to additional helpful resources and organizations.

A solid addition to the genre; the angle of approach may spark some interest.

(Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68403-533-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Instant Help Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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