Tag Archives: OCD

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty

Random House Children’s Books, 2018

Bluebonnet nomination for 2019 – 2020

292 pages

Upper Elementary

Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning,  and this gave her genius-level math skills.  Aged 12, she is technically ready for college, but she has to spend a year in middle school before that.  It may sound improbable, but actually this is a very compelling and believable read.  Middle school is tough to figure out, especially if  you are hiding a massive secret, and your life is complicated with OCD.  If you love dogs, right there is another great reason to pick up the book. The book just got better and better, and the end will blow you away.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Young Adult

285 pgs.

Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids with obsessive compulsive disorder. And BAM!.. “within the space of a heartbeat, he was lost.”  Things get problematic which is no surprise when you consider  a super anxious teen trying to cope with everything this complicated generation has to throw at youth: divorce, a mom who is a frenetic and obsessive collector of stuff, sibling worries, and his own OCD problems.  Love, of course, is complicated too.

This was a great book and beautifully told, often funny, but infinitely sad as well.  Teresa Toten understands the issues for sure, and she writes with compassion and humor.

In an interview with Teresa Toten, an accomplished writer of several YA books, she was asked where she got the idea  for this book.

Her words:

“This book has been in my head for years. I watched so many of the young adults who were in or near my life struggle with OCD and debilitating anxiety. Their courage was both breathtaking and fascinating. I became haunted by the question of what it would be like to be them, to cope and carry on in the world with this invisible burden.”

Toten does not write to be a fixer, but rather as she says,  “All of us have experienced, to varying degrees, moments of debilitating anxiety and depression, and even obsessive thoughts. That is part of being human, and it is certainly a hallmark of being a young adult. To me, The Unlikely Hero is about first love, making friends and struggling with yourself. If my readers have done any of that, hopefully they’ll feel just a little less alone when they pick up the book.”

Visit her at teresatoten@TTotenAuthor.