Waking Ben Doldrums

  • Illustrated By: Byron Eggenschwiler
  • Pages:32
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:depression in youth, mental health, community, compassion, neighbors as family
  • Pub Date:03/14/2023

“Ben Doldrums, are you sad? Are you mad? Are you confused?"

Frida Bellows lives in a big house made up of four apartments. Every morning, she gets on her father’s shoulders and taps on the ceiling with a broomstick. This wakes her neighbor, a student named Ben Doldrums who knocks on the wall to wake the Mercredis, who in turn knock on the floor to wake the Reynolds. Frida likes this morning tradition. It makes her feel like she’s part of something big. Things change, however, when Ben stops getting out of bed to wake the Mercredis, which throws off the whole routine. Frida notices that Ben Doldrums is not himself and she wants to help. But how?

Waking Ben Doldrums is a story of community, compassion and hope. It is a reminder that, while we can’t always fix another person’s problems, a simple act of kindness can go a long way.