|Unlikely hero of room 13B|
Author: Toten, Teresa
Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he's also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 171740
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 66163
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2015 Two teens with OCD try to have a “normal” relationship in this honest, fresh, and funny novel. Adam Spencer Harris falls in love with Robyn Plummer, the new member of his therapy group for young adults with OCD. When the group members choose superhero names and Robyn picks “Robin,” who else can Adam be but Batman? A friendship, then more, springs up between Adam and Robyn, but as they become closer, Adam’s rituals begin intensifying. In addition, his mother’s compulsive hoarding, the vile anonymous letters she has been receiving, and Adam’s role as the one to assuage his little half brother’s anxieties put more stress on him. Ultimately, Adam is perceptive enough to realize that he is jeopardizing not only Robyn’s recovery but also his own. Adam is impressively drawn: smart, sensitive, and neither helpless nor hopeless. He is supported by a vivid cast of well-rounded, believable characters, from his group members to the assorted adults in his life. Toten employs information about OCD like grace notes in this deft and compelling narrative. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 8 Up—Hazel and Augustus need to move over because Batman and Robyn are about to take their place in the annals of YA literary romantic couples. The two teens meet in a group setting for those afflicted by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Adam Ross, aka Batman, has severe OCD that is debilitating at times. He is intimidated when he joins a weekly group because most of the members are a bit older than him; there is also a girl who he finds irresistible. Each group member takes on a superhero persona for sessions at the urging of their psychologist. Adam chooses Batman, and is floored when his crush Robyn chooses Robin in order to be his sidekick. Adam has a knack for helping others who struggle with their own issues, including his half-brother, Sweetie, who has regular meltdowns; his mother, who is a hoarder; and his best friend, Ben, who has a weight problem. Unfortunately, he is so consumed with his own counting, tapping, and difficulties entering thresholds that he does not realize his gifts. Through Adam, Toten examines the trials and tribulations of OCD head on, but Adam also deals with the usual teenage problems of love, friendships, school, and divorced parents. Readers will relate to Adam's anxieties and root for him as his relationship with Robyn develops. VERDICT This is a definite next-read for teens who loved John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) and Cammie McGovern's Say What You Will (HarperCollins, 2014).—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 When Robyn joins the Young Adult OCD Support Group, fourteen-year-old Adam falls immediately and totally in love. He already has plenty on his plate: since his parents’ divorce and his father’s remarriage, his mother has started hoarding, and his new little stepbrother suffers from sadness that only Adam can manage. Meanwhile, Adam seems to have informally taken control of Group as well, introducing them to the comforting space and rituals of his Catholic church. He helps Robyn, too, and they do fall sweetly in love, but as his mother’s hoarding and other symptoms escalate, so do Adam’s compulsions, until finally he is unable to breach the threshold of his own home. Adam is thoroughly likable and thoroughly liked by the other characters, who come to see him as a hero. Readers spend so much time in his head with him that his rituals take on heartbreaking immediacy; his desperation to save his mother, his stepbrother, and his beloved Robyn render the fact that he is losing himself all the more tragic. Toten never plays coy in her depiction of his and others’ illness, but she also shows Adam as someone straining toward normal and sometimes achieving it. While Adam’s altruism never falters, his vulnerability, humor, and thoughtful responses keep him from seeming too good to be true; he’s just a guy who’s chosen compassion over bitterness in the face of his suffering, and his plight is sure to inspire compassion in readers as well. An interview with the author follows the text. KC - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.