Interesting children’s novel for about 6th-8th grade level. Daniel is a 13-year-old boy locked into a series of uncontrollable behaviors. He can’t tell anyone because he assumes his family and friends would think he is crazy. He is smart at school, except with math because certain numbers seem really bad to him and he keeps replacing them with good ones. He is the back-up kicker on the football team but he hates the stress of football. He can’t go to sleep at night unless he brushes his teeth and turns the light switch off and on exactly the right number of times, then takes the right number of steps to his bed. Daniel’s pattern gets disturbed by his sudden friendship with “Pyscho Sara”, a girl who has not spoken to anyone in years.

It is obvious to us, as adults, that he is a victim of obsessive-compulsive disorder; but he knows nothing about it and assumes he is the only person who behaves this way. I assume this would be a revelation to many children, too, including some children who are tormented by the same kinds of behaviors. (It is based on the writer’s own childhood torments.)

IndyPL_SteveB's rating:
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