Finding Perfect

Elly Swartz. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-30312-9
First-time author Swartz creates a clear, moving portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder through the authentic voice of middle schooler Molly Nathans. Molly has always been a neat freak, but after her mother is forced to spend a year in Toronto for work, keeping things orderly becomes Molly’s primary concern. Her colored pencils need to be arranged in rainbow order, her glass figurines need to be perfectly aligned, and numbers always need to be even or, she believes, something terrible will happen. When Molly’s anxieties (fueled by her sister’s declaration that their mother won’t come back) collide with concerns about her younger brother’s health and an upcoming poetry slam contest, her obsessions spin out of control. Getting an insider’s view of Molly’s downward spiral is both painful and enlightening. Readers need not be familiar with the psychological terms to recognize the damaging effects of Molly’s thinking and how it is wreaking havoc on her relationships. While Molly’s situation becomes quite dire, her courageous decision to communicate her fears and seek help pave the way for a comforting resolution. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
Release date: 10/18/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-374-30313-6
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