Monday, February 8, 2016

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Adam really wants to get his OCD under control.  He tries to hide his counting compulsions and threshold issues, but he can't make them go away.  Once a week, he meets with his OCD support group.  There he feels a little more in control.  He can be concerned and supportive of the other other kids offering suggestions and keeping his criticism to himself.  The support group is also where he meets Robyn.

Robyn is a little older, a little taller, and the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.  Adam is in love.  Now his desire to improve his mental health is stronger than ever.  When their therapist suggests they all take the names of superheroes, the group readily agrees.  They have Thor, Ironman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Snookie.  Robyn chooses Robin, and Adam is elated and shocked at his boldness when he says Batman.  Now they are linked, and Batman wants to protect Robin.

But even as things start to go somewhere with Robyn, the rest of Adam's life is spinning out of control.  The conflict between his divorced parents intensifies, and his mother's hoarding is taking over every inch of the house.  To make matters worse, she has been receiving disturbing letters urging her to commit suicide.

Adam's little brother, Sweetie, has issues of his own, and Adam is often the only person who can calm him down which puts him in the position of having to choose between his mother and his half brother.

As the problems around him intensify, so does Adam's OCD, but he's trying so hard to keep it to himself, to be strong for Robyn and his mother.

Teresa Toten's book is charming and touching with a look inside the world of OCD.  While the romance story line might be a little unrealistic, the reader still roots for Adam who is a very likable character.  The plotting is excellent in this book, and readers will be hooked until the end.  Highly recommended!  Grades 8 and up.

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