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Explore how Button Pusher, an award-winning graphic novel by Tyler Page, is teaching students about ADHD and the connection between thoughts, feelings, and decisions. See how a teacher and his class are learning with this compelling title.

By Chris Burley

Enjoy this fun, real-world example of how graphic literature can help spark more engaged learning with the graphic novel Button Pusher (First Second Books) and Colorado teacher Steve Harbula.

Button Pusher: 2023’s EGL Awards Book of the Year 

In 2023, Button Pusher by Tyler Page was Pop Culture Classroom’s Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards Book of the Year. The book is a memoir of the creator’s years growing up with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“The content of this book is unique and timely. I think this book should be read by all teachers or parents who have children that are different so they can understand how their child perceives the world. I also think children need to read this to build empathy for their friends who are just a bit different than them.”  

— Jessica Hedaria, 2023 EGL Awards Middle Grade Juror
Button Pusher by Tyler Page

Button Pusher in the Classroom

Enter Mr. Harbula. He’s a Language Arts teacher at World Compass Academy who was looking for an engaging way to teach his students about thoughts, feelings, and decisions, in his Advisement class.Button Pusher was just the ticket!

Pop Culture Classroom was excited to donate a classroom set of this compelling graphic novel to Mr. Harbula’s class. The results were just what we expected:

“We started reading Button Pusher today, and my students loved it! They got into discussions and partner reading sessions, diving deep into the world of ADHD. It was amazing to see even the quietest students get totally into it.”

— Steve Harbula, Language Arts Teacher

ADHD is a lot more common than you might think! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — about 9.4% of children aged 2-17 years were diagnosed with ADHD in the United States as of 2020.

As the students explored Tyler’s story in Button Pusher, they learned a lot about ADHD and how it affects people, sharing their thoughts and experiences using Padlet and Google Drive.

Mr. Harbula told us, “My students really understood Tyler’s struggles. It helped them see things from a different perspective and be more understanding.”

This is just the beginning of the class’s work with Button Pusher, and we’re excited to provide updates as they continue learning.

What You Can Do

Here are some easy ways to get started:

With your help, we can support more educators and
inspire, educate, and connect more kids and teens.

Photo: PCC Outreach Instructor Will works with a student
Photo: PCC Outreach Instructor Will works with a student
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