Good Different by Meg Eden Kuyatt

Just in time for National Poetry Month, Good Different is a novel in verse by Meg Eden Kuyatt. In lyrical prose, Kuyatt tells the story of Selah Godfrey who feels like a dragon in a world built for people. Because others perceive Selah as “dangerous, unpredictable, and damaged,” she draws to distract herself from the rough noises and loud textures that poke at her.

A seventh grader at Pebblecreek Academy, a private school that prides itself on its family atmosphere, Selah wishes to be somewhere that allows her to be fully herself, a place where she can relax “and not feel like a freak” (9). Normal doesn’t come easily to Selah, who wants to find other dragons like her.

Searching for a place to freely be her honest-self, Selah writes poetry. She writes so that she doesn’t have to think about the looks people give her, looks that judge and question and wonder. Poetry helps her not only to share her feelings but to “make steam holes to keep from boiling over” (90). With poetry, she finds her voice and learns to speak up.

With guidance from her maternal grandfather and her English teacher at school, Selah begins to understand that she is different and that her difference has a label. She’s neurodivergent and requires accommodations in order to cope in the “Alice-in-Wonderland” chaos that resembles her life. She begins using tools like ear plugs, sunglasses, and gummies to manage her sensory needs and to help her feel less overstimulated.

Once she finds her words, Selah embraces her “good kind of different” (153).  Realizing she’s not damaged but autistic, she accepts that “everyone here can do great things” (191).

  • Posted by Donna

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