Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sidetracked” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.18  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  113 reviews
To Joseph Friedman, middle school might as well be the Running of the Bulls. He’s friendless and puny, with ADD to boot, so he spends most of his time avoiding class bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher Mrs. ...more
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Amulet Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sidetracked, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Josie Yes. Hover over the cover with your mouse pointer and select "Other Editions." There is an audio CD.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Noah Carpenter
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is very good its a highly recommended book. Joesph the main character has a phobea to everything. But when he meats a girl heather all his fears go away
~ Althea ~  ☾
// Received an advance readers copy in exchange for a fair review //

"Maybe the rules change when you grow up. Maybe there are times when you can quit, for a while at least. But I don't think you should be allowed to quit on people. And nobody should be allowed to quit on Heather."

Someone love me as much as Joseph loves Heather please.

Joseph and Heather were just so good for each other and the story in general. They grew up so well and the character development was amazing and so clearly seen
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I absolutely LOVED this book. It was utterly charming, and I laughed out loud so many times! I also was teary from page 105 good. It honestly gave me a different perspective about how kids with special challenges end up just navigating their every day relationships and their school days. Great read for kids and adults alike. Next to Eric Bell's "Alan Cole Is Not A Coward", this was my feel good book of the year.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own!

Joseph Friedman is officially diagnosed with ADD, which doesn't necessarily mean that he can't concentrate on things. He can concentrate all right - just on the wrong things. Between his phobias and quirks, he isn't high on the social ladder at school. He never wins anything, is constantly humiliated in gym class, and only feels like himself in the resource room. This changes when, on the first day o
Victoria Spicer-Stuart
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
*Thanks to NetGalley and Amulet Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
Sidetracked tells the story of seventh grader, Joseph Friedman. Joseph has ADD and basically feels like he is failing at life. He struggles in school, is hopeless on the sporting field as is easy prey for school bullies. When a new girl, Heather, moves to Lakeview Middle School, things start to look up for young Joseph. What follows is an enjoyable and heart-warming story. Whilst the novel is pitched a
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great story of friendship and perseverance!
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down! The first day after I brought home from the library, I went through half the book! As I read, I cheered for Joseph and his team. It’s a quick read, and fairly predictable, but I would recommend to anyone who was looking for something to read.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
It isn't always about winning. In fact, it's usually about achieving a PR (personal record). And not just in cross-country running, but in life.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joseph has a hard time in school. He can't pay attention in class and the bullies love to torment him. Heather is the new girl in school, but when the bullies decide to make her a target, they may just get more than they bargained for. A wonderful story of friendship, respecting differences, and putting in the effort to achieve your dreams. Amazing adult characters and lots of humor elevate this book a notch above the rest.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[I received a digital advanced reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

This is a story of overcoming obstacles, friendship, and comraderie. Seventh-grader Joseph Friedman faces many challenges; he has ADD as well as sensory and anxiety issues, is small, skinny, and weak, and is often made fun of by the kids at school. He is amazed by Heather, the new girl who is tall, strong, and takes no crap from anyone. Joseph ends up joining the cross-country team, afte
Robyn Arend
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joseph isn't the smartest seventh grader, or the strongest or the fastest but when both his resource teacher and his new friend encourage him to join the track and cross country team he discovers that he can be the best at being himself.

I loved this book. It was funny and sweet and made me happy cry. Joseph's relationships with his grandpa, his parents, and his new friends swirl together to create a wonderful novel about the challenges of being different and the strength your differences can giv
Brenda Kahn
There's a lot to like about this sweet, gentle debut - a winning narrator, his kick-ass new friend, his grandpa and his LD teacher/ coach. I read it in one sitting. Realistic, humorous and satisfying.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Howell
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It's about an seventh grade boy named Joseph. He has ADD and it seems to define his whole life. He works with the resource teacher and is made fun of because of that. The bully in the book, Charlie, gives Joseph a hard time and calls him names. He is the star football player and just a great athlete in general. In P.E. class one day, Charlie begins a run at Joseph while playing soccer. Joseph fears for his life, or at least his bones, and braces himself for the hit only to be ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Joseph is a seventh-grade boy with ADD who has struggled throughout school to be successful in the classroom and with his peers. He doesn’t have any friends, he is terrified of many things, he feels like he never knows what is going on in class while everyone else does, and he has been bullied for years by other students. His school starts a cross-country and track program and his resource room teacher asks him to participate. As he attends practices and races in meets, Joseph learns abo
Ms. Yingling
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Joseph is having a tough time in middle school. He's small for his age and suffers from ADHD enough that he spends time each day in the resource room. When his teacher there, Mrs. T., suggests that he run cross country, he is skeptical, but when he sees Heather doing well at running, he thinks it might be okay. This is the first year for the team, so it's very small, but Mrs. T. is the coach. Joseph isn't fast, but he keeps running, and keeps thinking about his personal b
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
There are those who fit right in at school, who make friends easily and understand all the rules, who have no trouble paying attention in class and following directions. And then there are the rest of us. Joseph Friedman is one of us. Small compared to the other seventh graders, slow and unathletic, struggling with attention and sensory issues, Joseph knows what it is to feel lost, to miss out on a teacher's instructions, and to be bullied. 

However, he is not without help. Joseph has a supportiv
Margarita Rodriguez
2. Choose a character you’d like or not like to have as a friend. Tell why.

After reading Sidetracked written by Diana Harmon Asher, one character I’d like to have as a friend from the book would be Heather. Heather is the new student at school who gets noticed in gym class for knocking over the school bully right as he was about to knock over our main character, Joseph Friedman. Saving his life, essentially, Joseph tries to befriend Heather, and their friendship establishes after joining the tr
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Sidetracked for a teen book event that we are having at work. I wasn't expecting much, as my coworker told me she didn't really enjoy reading it, but I have to say that I loved this book! It wasn't an action packed title, and didn't have anything crazy going on, but it turned out to a really sweet and feel-good story. Joseph is a 7th grader who is basically a nerd with no friends. He isn't even a smart nerd, as he struggles to concentrate in school (ADD), is in the resource room and has a ...more
Who cares if I was pretty sure everything would turn out in this middle grade novel? I loved every word and fell in love with the characters so much that I hope the author writes a follow-up. All the characters, even the adults, seemed authentic and imperfect, and the fact that there is a budding romance between two elderly characters near the book's conclusion offers a neat twist and hope for the lovelorn or those who have lost a lifelong partner. The central plot concerns Joseph Friedman, a se ...more
Jo-ann Walsh
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
@kidlitexchange #partner
Thank you to @kidlitexchange for the review copy of Sidetracked. All opinions are my own.
Joseph Friedman is just starting seventh grade. He hasn’t had things easy. He has difficulty focusing, isn’t the best student, and spends part of his school day in the resource room. He is small, not athletic, and is often made fun of (and even bullied) by other kids. Things begin to change for Joseph when a new girl named Heather moves to town and attends Lakeview. She is very athle
Joseph is starting seventh grade at a local middle school. Besides having ADD, he is small for his age and is often bullied by football player, Charlie, and his buddies. He absolutely hates PE because of this. Joseph loves to go to the resource room to get away from it all. Everything changes the first day of school! First he meets a new girl, Heather. She is tall, athletic, and does not allow the football players to teacher Joseph. The second thing is that his resource teacher, Mrs. T, encourag ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the @kidlitexchange for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

****/5 stars. I highly recommend this debut. This novel was relatable to everyone who has ever gone through an awkward phase in their life or had challenges with their peers. In my opinion, this is what middle school is mostly about. Pining for peer acceptance, approval, and just trying to make it. The story is about Joseph who has learning difficulties and who is challenged in unexpected ways. He
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Joseph is in 7th grade and spends part of his day in the resource room. Joseph has lots of phobias, an overactive mind and finds it really hard to concentrate in his classes. He spends a lot of his time trying to avoid the school bullies and simply getting by. His refuge is the resource room where he feels safe and he has a teacher who is a caring cheerleader for all of her kids. His teacher is always encour
Eve beinguniquebooks
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One day during sport at school, Joseph spots Heather, each don't fit in with their peers, Heather too fast and Joseph too slow in the group. Heather loves Olympic facts and draws the team as animals racing throughout the book.

Joseph's Grandpa is a big character in the book after going missing and doing his own thing before the seventy nine year old comes to Josephs house.

Joseph grows confident in pursuing the track team and making his teacher and grandpa proud from doing so despite being last in
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a solid MG read. The plot showcased the fact of trying your personal best, and running your own race, as well as being the bigger person and not fighting back against bullies. It was one I can easily see adding to my middle school collection and will be able to book talk and sell easily. There is a strong plot point with the cross country team, so I am considering adding it to my Sports section even though the characterization lends it to the Realistic Fiction area.

Joseph spends most of
Laura Gardner
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, friendship, juv
5/5 stars for this realistic fiction book I got from #kidlitexchange. I couldn't put it down! Fans of Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff will love this book about Joseph, a student with learning differences. Joseph has ADD and sensory issues along with problems concentrating in class and difficulty making friends. He is picked on by others and just getting by in school. When he is encouraged by his resource room teacher, Mrs T to join the new cross country t ...more
Valerie McEnroe
I'm hanging out there by myself on the bell curve with this one. Had to really push to get to the end. It's hard to put a finger on exactly what bothered me, but it could be that I don't enjoy being in the brain of a person with ADD. I did, however thoroughly enjoy the grandpa's character. His absolute refusal to give in to old age is quite funny.

The plot line is all about Joseph and his trouble fitting in at school. His ADD annoys everyone and he's the target of the school bully. His resource t
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Asher, Diana Harmon Sidetracked, 233 pages. Amulet, 2017. $17. Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.

Joseph has ADD, but when his resource teacher tells him to try out for track, he gives it a go. Track is hard and Joseph struggles, but he meets some new friends and learns that he can do hard things. Joseph’s seventy-nine year old grandfather also has to move in with Jospeh's family and his relationship with Joseph is sweet and entertaining.

I enjoyed this book. Josep
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!

Sidetracked is an absolutely charming story about Joseph and Heather, two kids on the fringes of their community. Joseph has ADD and finds his mind wandering every chance it gets. Heather's tall, strong, and fast, and the new kid besides. Together, they make for a misfit team that was a delight to read.

I really loved being in Joseph's head. As a narrator, he's funny, insightful, and serious by turns. His chara
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Knockout (House Arrest, #2)
  • 27 Magic Words
  • Tight
  • Auma's Long Run
  • Walking with Miss Millie
  • Falcon Wild
  • The Saturday Boy
  • Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
  • Just My Luck
  • Finding Perfect
  • The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
  • Garvey's Choice
  • Mustaches for Maddie
  • Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen
  • The Perfect Score  (The Perfect Score, #1)
  • Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens
  • The Losers Club
  • Lost in the Sun
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »