This is a fantastic new read for teens! Daniel seems like an average teenage boy. He plays football, is good looking and is semi-popular. But he has a secret. Daniel has severe OCD and has a nightly ritual that can take hours, robbing him of sleep. He feels very alone and desperate. His family has no idea what he is doing each night. The only person who notices is a girl who calls herself a fellow star child. She is the girl that everyone thinks is weird. Her name is Sara. She has an aide and an I.E.P. and no friends. She asks for Daniel’s help to solve a mystery about her missing father. Daniel isn’t sure what to do. This is bound to make things weird with his friends and Raya, the cute girl who likes him. The more his friendship with Sara grows, the more Daniel learns about himself. This is a great story for teens who feel alone and different. It also gives teens a glimpse into a very real and frightening condition. I love both Daniel and Sara as characters and I enjoying watching their friendship grow. One of my favorite moments is when they are lying in the grass looking up at the sky. Another favorite moment is watching Daniel’s slow progression as he works as a kicker. It shows how hard work can make a difference even when it seems like never will. I will highly recommend this book to many teens when it comes out in February.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss Daniel’s relationship with his sister and his other family members.
Discuss Daniel’s zaps and anxiety in general. Do you ever feel like this? What helps?
Discuss his nightly ritual. What do you think that would feel like if you couldn’t stop?
Discuss his relationship with Max and the other boys on the football team. Discuss his love of setting up the cups.
What do you know about OCD?
Discuss how the students view student like Sara.
Discuss Daniel’s awkward relationship with Raya.
Discuss Daniel’s relationship with football.
Discuss the moment when Daniel and Sara are lying on the grass.