A boy wrestling with OCD and family troubles discovers his inner strength in this touching and quirky teen book.
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten
Doubleday, ISBN: 978 0 385 67834 6
Adam has been in one-on-one therapy , but is also joining a group for teens with OCD. The first time Robyn walks in, he falls for her, so when the group leader suggests they each take on a persona outside of themselves during group, he declares himself Batman to her Robin and begins working harder. What he does, though, is step up and help everyone but himself. He’s there for Robyn, for the other group members, for his mom, for his stepbrother…
But he also has some real issues at home with his mom’s own mental health concerns, and he won’t take them on, because he’s worried about being taken from her and what it would do to her. Finally, after one last enormously unselfish act, he starts to hit the point where he needs some help, though it takes a crisis to take it out of his hands and let him finally be the one to get help instead of giving it.
Teresa Toten is a writer who puts a lot of heart into her characters, and you always end up rooting for them – Adam is no exception, and this book made me both laugh and cry at the end. A man on the subway even commented on how much I seemed to be enjoying it… ahem. But it’s just that kind of book, one that sucks you in and makes you really care, and there is simply no substitute for that. Highly recommended for teens.
Also available as an ebook.