Button Pusher: A Review

Button Pusher: A Review

Makya NeVilles-Sorell, Contributing Writer

Button Pusher is a graphic novel by author Tyler Page. He is well known for his book Raised on Ritalin, which Button Pusher contains some of the same research and may contribute to his name. In Button Pusher, Tyler Page explores and illustrates his childhood and what it was like to grow up after being diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder). 

The book begins with Tyler Page when he was eight years old and chronologically follows his experiences into young adulthood. While reading through, I learned more about ADHD alongside the young Tyler Page in the book, like how he adjusts to taking Ritalin and learns how to manage his ADHD, but there are other obstacles for him to tackle on his journey. He writes about obstacles he faced; like growing up in a home with domestic issues; friendship woes; self-conscious conflict; how ADHD affected his schooling, and other coming of age struggles in this linear tale of growing up with ADHD. 

What makes reading Button Pusher worthwhile would be the fun, comic book style, graphic novel layout depicting Tyler’s childhood. This design mixes speech and thought bubbles with side commentary and illustrations to help narrate and move the story forward. This makes Button Pusher very easy to read, and what makes it worthwhile is the work’s ability to teach an individual about ADHD, while also sharing experiences that others with ADHD may find relatable. This book was made for an audience of young readers, but I think adult readers can enjoy it, too. 

As stated by Tyler Page himself, “Communicating what it is like to live with ADHD is tricky because everyone feels distracted, unfocused, forgetful, out of control, or hyperactive . . . those of us with ADHD have those feelings more often than other people . . . [when it becomes troublesome] It impacts our school, social, and family lives” (Page, 246). When Tyler Page was young, he would do things without thinking. He would follow through with an action, whether good or bad, without a second thought. This book tries to help communicate what life is like with ADHD, to help those who are diagnosed, as well as to help those who find ADHD to be detrimental to their lives know that they are not alone. 

This brief overview of the context of his book does not do it justice.  If you like comic books, such as the Marvel comics, and clever, funny, well-drawn narrative illustrations, and books that present insightful nuggets of information throughout, then Button Pusher is the book for you.