Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, April 2, 2017

OCDaniel by Wesley King

How I Heard About It:  Another title I first heard about via Twitter.  There are many of my Twitter "pals" that when they mention a book to be read, I always add it to my TBR list.  This was one such title.  While ordering picture books for "Picture Book March Madness", I added this book from the local library.  I was quite excited to read this novel...

What It Is About:  Daniel has several struggles in his life.  He is the "back-up" kicker for his high-school football team.  He doesn't have a lot of friends at school.  Daniel is also dealing with the knowledge that he is struggling with OCD.  The OCD also seems to be progressing with a nighttime "ritual" that can take up to hours.  Max, his one true friend, has a lot of faith in Daniel and encourages him to be everything he can be.  Daniel begins a crush on a girl at school, but isn't sure he is in her league.  After receiving a "mysterious" note, his life takes a turn for the "different" and "weird".  Sara, the note-sender, shares a mystery with Daniel and invites him into her world and the quest to solve the mystery.  This is a distraction for Daniel from worrying about the OCD, the football, and the fitting in; but it could cause more complications than he is ready for.  

What I Thought Of It:  Going into books that I'm super excited about can be a good thing, but can also be a "bad" thing.  I've been reading several books with an OCD theme, and in some ways this particular story didn't quite measure up for me.  Overall I enjoyed the story and learning about Daniel and his struggles.  I just wasn't as invested in the characters and/or plot as I normally like to be.  Many people "raved" about the book, but for me it was just alright.  There were many plots going on and I couldn't tell which one was to be most important.  I'm glad I read it.  Maybe having too high of expectations was the real issue here.  

Who Should Read It:  I think this novel is definitely targeted for the high-school audience.  Young people with OCD may also be a perfect audience.  The author did a wonderful job of describing how hard this diagnosis can be and the struggles that people go through.  I know several adult readers that loved the book so adult readers should also give it a try.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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