Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

By Melissa Hart

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Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. When her social studies teacher assigns each student an oral report and project to change the world for the better, 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.

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World includes an author’s note and additional resources.

About the Author

Melissa Hart’s writing is focused on kids and parents, with a particular interest in marginalized communities. Melissa lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and teen daughter. She grew up in Southern California with her brother, who has Down Syndrome, and spent a decade working as a special education teacher. She teaches for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University with a focus on MG/YA Literature. Daisy Woodworm Changes the World is her second novel.

  • Paperback ISBN: 9781631636370
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781631636387
  • Reading Age: from 8 to 12 years
  • Interest Age: from 8 to 13 years
  • Paperback dimensions: 5.25 x 8 in
  • Publication date: Nov 08, 2022
  • Rights/Sales territory: Worldwide
  • Format: Paperback | Ebook
  • Pages: 288
  • Imprint: Jolly Fish Press
  • Subjects:
    JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Siblings
    JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance

Reviews of Daisy Woodworm Changes the World:

"Hart, who has a lisp and a brother with Down syndrome herself, sensitively explores topics such as bullying, economic hardship, and forgiveness....An uplifting story of family, community, and friendship." —Kirkus Reviews

“Hart highlights the importance of disability representation and self-advocacy with thoughtful realism, and explores Daisy and Squirrel’s sibling bond with nuance.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers will relate to Daisy’s worries and triumphs. Portrayals of teens with Down syndrome are sympathetic and realistic. . . .This realistic fiction title skillfully discusses a number of topics relevant to today’s young readers, and belongs in most collections.” —School Library Journal

“Hart’s experience of having a brother with Down syndrome and her own lisp brings authenticity. The writing is lively, the dialogue genuine, and the story and characters believable and complex.” —Manhattan Book Review

“The story explores the shifting relationships between family and friends during middle and high school as well as how to love and support one another in healthy ways. Recommended for readers who enjoy books by McDunn and Messner.” —Children’s Literature

"This realistic fiction addresses topics relevant to today's young readers." —Midwest Book Review

Awards received by Daisy Woodworm Changes the World:

A 2022 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

2023 IPPY Awards Silver Medalist, Juvenile Fiction

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