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Harrar, George. Not as crazy as I seem.

HARRAR, George. Not as crazy as I seem. Houghton Mifflin, Graphia. 231p. c2003. 0618-49480-4. $6.99. J

15-year-old Devon Brown is the poster boy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. Among other things, Devon must eat food in multiples of four, avoid all germs (which means no eating in the high school cafeteria and even no sitting on his shrink's questionable chairs), organize his clothes by color, and repeat lists in his head. His family moves to a new town to try and give Devon a fresh start, only to find his OCD still ruling and ruining his life. His "tendencies," as his mother calls them, frustrate his parents and alienate him from his peers. Devon knows he isn't crazy; he just can't help but need to feel utterly in control of his life. At the root of his OCD lies a traumatic experience, one that becomes the initial reason Devon started to fixate on his need for control.

When the school is vandalized, Devon finds himself in the middle of the drama, partially due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and partially due to his OCD. Thanks to the help of Dr. Wasserman, his new shrink, and Tanya, a brave new friend, Devon starts to understand that his behavior has to change. Devon has to overcome his disorder and be willing to find out who he is once the OCD is stripped away. Both funny and touching, Devon's story lets readers take an intimate glimpse into life with OCD. Amanda MacGregor, Boston, MA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.
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Author:MacGregor, Amanda
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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