Summary: Figure It Out, Henri Weldon
In Figure It Out, Henri Weldon, Henrietta Weldon feels out of place in her family. Her brother is always off doing his own thing, and her sister, Kat, seems to always be frustrated with her inability to figure certain things out on her own or keep their room clean. Henri’s mom is studying for her PhD and she and her dad want Henri to do well at school, especially now that they’re mainstreaming her out of her special school to public school. Henri has dyscalculia and struggles with processing math problems.
As she settles into her new school, she befriends a group of foster kids whom her sister can’t stand. Then she decides to join the soccer team (which her parents are super uncomfortable with — studies are the priority) and she’s writing a poem to submit to the school’s magazine. On top of all her commitments, she has to keep her room clean (to prevent Kat from killing her) and keep her grades up since they don’t have the funds to send her back to a special school. Can Henri figure it out?
I LOVED this book way more than I imagined I would. It’s my best one from the author (I’ve read two of her other books — Serena Says and Partly Cloudy). Henri was just absolutely lovable. She has a pet snake called Wil Snakespeare and she loves poetry. Her relationship with her siblings is strained (on the surface) like it is for most siblings at that age (my brother and I physically fought several times) but they love her and she gets to see that as the story progresses. I loved all the family scenes with her parents, her aunt, and her siblings as they got through daily life.
Another major setting in this book is Henri’s school life which was also very interesting — and not many books get this right. I loved all of her friends and schoolmates, including Vinnie (one of the foster kids who also has a pet rat) and Vinnie’s sister, who helps Henri join the soccer team. The banter and camaraderie is fun, and Henri learns a lot about herself from her relationship with her friends.
Overall: Figure It Out, Henri Weldon
Figure It Out, Henri Weldon is a super slice-of-life book featuring a highly relatable protagonist with dyscalculia. At its heart, this story is about family — finding it, understanding it, appreciating it, and loving it. But it’s also about a love for words and writing, figuring out sibling relationships, and enjoying pets (including a pet snake and a pet rat). I savored every single page of this one and would totally recommend it!