Monday, June 6, 2016

Middle Grade Monday: The Best Worst Thing

Kathleen Lane's middle grade debut novel, The Best Worst Thing, is a fantastic story about a girl who finds it hard to stop her worrying.

Maggie is a middle child who worries about almost everything.  When a murder occurs at the local convenience store and the killer is on the loose, Maggie worries about that.  When she thinks about how old her grandmother is, she worries she could die.  What if Mr. Gulick kills the rabbits next door?  These thoughts pop up in Maggie's head all the time.  Through some different counting rituals or little games she plays with herself Maggie tries to control her fears.

Although Lane never comes right out and says that Maggie suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), I am fairly certain she does.  I thought the way Maggie was able to narrate her story was accurate and authentic.  I'm a bit of a worrier myself, but not nearly to Maggie's extent. However, I could see and understand her train of thought and fairly accurately predict her next worry or compulsion.

I haven't read any middle grade fiction that so aptly gives voice to the experiences of someone with OCD.  The Best Worst Thing does a great job of allowing Maggie to share what someone who suffers from this acts like and feels like.

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