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OCDaniel
2016
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Summary
EDGAR AWARD WINNER FOR BEST MYSTERY
BANK STREET BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
SILVER BIRCH AWARD WINNER

"Complex and satisfying. Written from Daniel's point of view, this perceptive first-person narrative is sometimes painful, sometimes amusing, and always rewarding." -- Booklist (starred review)

From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder--until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.

Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he's the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups--and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits--he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he's crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn't just notice him: she seems to peer through him.

Then Daniel gets a note: "I need your help," it says, signed, Fellow Star child--whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.
Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* As the backup kicker on his football team, 13-year-old Daniel spends his time watching from the bench. Socially, he is an onlooker as well. But soon Sara, an ostracized girl at school, breaks through his shyness by demanding help with investigating her father's possible murder. It seems heartless to refuse, though logically (and later, legally) he should. As tension mounts, his anxiety level rises, and The Routine he is compelled to follow at bedtime grows longer and more burdensome. Daniel knows that he is different, but he suffers alone and in silence. It's a revelation when Sara offers him information on obsessive-compulsive disorder and a path toward coping with it. A brief, appended author's note dispels common misconceptions about OCD and calls Daniel an almost autobiographical representation of myself at that age. King creates convincing characters and writes engaging dialogue, and whether or not readers identify fully with Daniel, they will see parts of themselves in this vulnerable protagonist. Clues dropped in the first part of the book may lead readers to expect a conventional sort of happy ending, but the story's conclusion is more complex and satisfying. Written from Daniel's point of view, this perceptive first-person narrative is sometimes painful, sometimes amusing, and always rewarding.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
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