King, Wesley OCDaniel, 304 pages. Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing, 2016. $16.99. Language: G (1 swear, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.
Daniel, 13, is a gifted, self-described “social oddity”. Daniel has strong compulsions to complete tasks in a specific way, which take tremendous time and attention, especially due to the effort needed to hide his behaviors. His oldest friend, Max, is popular and being friends with him keeps Daniel on the fringe of the popular group. Max and Daniel play football together, if you can call what Daniel does on the field “playing” – he’s really just the back-up kicker. But when he is called upon to fill in for an injured player, he has to deal with the pressure of expectations from his team, friends, family, and still cope with his OCD. Wound through this story is a new friendship with fellow oddball, Sarah, who is on a quest to find out why her father has disappeared.
This book gives the reader some first-hand understanding of what it is like to have obsessive-compulsive disorder. But contrary to Daniel’s self-assessment, he is not socially inept: he is always witty, he manages to play football decently, and he charms the two girls he is most interested in. The author made an effort to spice up an otherwise boring story by having Daniel help Sarah, and wondering what would happen with her search kept me reading through the second half of the book.
MS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: JA, High School Librarian