Tag Archives: Down Syndrome

Review: Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World
Melissa Hart
Jolly Fish Press
Published November 8, 2022

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About Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

When her social studies teacher assigns each student a project to change the world for the better along with an oral report, Daisy fears the class bully—who calls her Woodworm— will make fun of her lisp. Still, she decides to help Sorrel fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite their parents’ refusal to allow him on social media.

With the help of her best friend Poppy, and Miguel—the most popular boy in school and her former enemy—Daisy launches Sorrel’s publicity campaign. But catastrophe strikes when her parents discover him online along with hateful comments from a cyberbully.

If Daisy has any hope of changing the world, she’ll have to regain her family’s trust and face her fears of public speaking to find her own unique and powerful voice.

My Review

There are a lot of original things about this book. Daisy has three terrariums in her room. One contains hissing cockroaches. Another has millipedes. The third, I think, has stick bugs? I wish we’d been introduced to her pets and her interest in insects a little sooner. Eventually, it does become part of the story, and I felt like I got to know her a lot better once I saw her love for them and her knowledge about insects in general.

I really liked Daisy’s relationship with her brother and the layering there. While she sees herself as championing his dream, at first she doesn’t realize that she’s also trying to control him. As she pursues the YouTube channel and faces mistakes she makes along the way, she also has to face mistakes she’s made in her relationship with her brother.

Daisy also has some chances to reevaluate judgments she’s made about others, too. I liked the arc of her relationship with Miguel. They both have mistakes to apologize for, and in order to work together, they have to find ways to forgive each other.

I also liked Daisy’s parents. While their Poop Fairy dog cleanup business sometimes makes them seem a bit silly, it’s clear they love both kids and are trying their hardest to care and provide for them, even though they don’t always get it right.

On the whole, I think DAISY WOODWORM CHANGES THE WORLD is a sweet, heartwarming story of family and community. Readers who are interested in insects or stories about family dynamics will want this one on their shelves. I think fans of CHIRP by Kate Messner should check it out.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 10 to 14.

Daisy has a lisp. Her brother and other minor characters have Down Syndrome. Daisy’s best friend is Indian with two moms. Another friend is Latine.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently. Daisy’s parents own a small business in which they scoop dog poop, so there are a few conversations and jokes about the job.

Romance/Sexual Content
Daisy has romantic feelings for a boy in her class. References to Daisy’s best friend crushing on a girl. References to kissing between a boy and girl.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Both Daisy and her brother experience some bullying. A boy in Daisy’s class makes fun of her lisp and her love for bugs, calling her Daisy Woodworm. Strangers leave hurtful comments online about Squirrel, Daisy’s brother.

Drug Content

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