Not If I Can Help It

“Mackler weaves friendship, family, disability, and race into a story which feels genuine, engaging, and never didactic.”
— School Library Journal, starred review


“A quality, truthful portrayal of the general challenges that come with different experiences of the world, whether personal or familial.”
— Kirkus, starred review

Not If I Can Help It

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From award-winning Carolyn Mackler, the story of Willa, who has been living with Sensory Processing Disorder and is thrown for a BIG loop when her dad announces he's dating Willa's best friend's mom.

Willa likes certain things to be certain ways. Her socks have to be soft . . . and definitely can't have irritating tags on the inside. She loves the crunch of popcorn and nachos . . . but is grossed out by the crunch of a baby carrot. And slimy foods? Those are the worst.

Willa can manage all these things -- but there are some things she can't deal with, like her father's big news. He's been keeping a big secret from her . . . that he's been dating the mom of Willa's best friend Ruby. Willa does NOT like the idea of them being together. And she does NOT like the idea of combining families. And she does NOT like the idea of her best friend becoming her sister overnight. Will she go along with all of these changes? NOT if she can help it!


You can order NOT IF I CAN HELP IT here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s | BAM


Praise for Not If I Can Help It:

“Wonderful—fresh, honest, and full of love.”
— Rebecca Stead, Newberry Medalist for When You Reach Me

“I couldn’t help loving Carolyn Mackler’s new book about the sweetness—and stickiness—of family, friendships, and everything in between.”
— Sarah Mlynowski, New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series

“Heartfelt and thoughtfully told, Mackler nails the tween voice beautifully.”
— Sarah Weeks, award-winning author of Pie and So B. It

“I’m smitten with Willa—her wit, her joy, and the way she sees the world. Her delightful story (best read with a big bag of gummy bears) will change the way you see things, too.”
— Natalie Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic

“Family, a best friend, and a seemingly impossible situation have turned Willa’s life upside down. Carolyn Mackler writes with insight, humor, and heart in this wonderful story for anyone who’s ever felt out of place.”
— Lisa Yee, award-winning author of the Millicent Min trilogy and the DC Super Hero Girls series

“Mackler creates authentic characters and honest situations, pulling readers into a warm, involving story about a girl navigating adolescence while coping with personal challenges and inevitable changes.”
Publisher's Weekly

“[Mackler] writes convincingly and compassionately... Willa’s experience will be a revelation to kids who didn’t know about the disorder and a comfort to those who share her condition.”
The New York Times

“Always in touch with her feelings, Willa makes a sympathetic, highly articulate narrator. While Willa’s sensory issues aren’t at the forefront of the narrative, readers will gain awareness as they read her story.”

“Readers will appreciate the accessibility of the prose, understand Willa’s frustration, and rejoice when she finds a way toward acceptance and contentment.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“A well-told story, informative and compassionate, as it presents young readers with a character in flux.”
The Missourian

“Along with an empathetic portrayal of Willa and her challenges, Mackler offers realistic middle school situations and a wonderful portrait of Willa and Ruby's friendship. Young readers will also be intrigued by the New York City setting, and what it's like to grow up there.”
The Buffalo News

“Willa’s everyday interactions help demys­tify sensory processing challenges, and her humor, honest reactions, and strong sense of identity offer readers going through their own big changes some solace and understanding.”
Horn Book