Double Felix

Kane Miller. Sept. 2019. 208p. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781610679473.
Gr 3-6–In this lighthearted novel about anxiety, Felix is a tightly wound little boy who follows many rules (52 at one point) to get through his day. Although his issues are never spelled out, observant readers will recognize Felix’s tendencies and behaviors as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and will understand why his life is controlled by counting and even numbers. The novel opens following Felix’s latest meltdown, with the principal explaining that Felix will not be able to stay at his school as long as his OCD tendencies keep controlling his behaviors. Fortunately, there are many understanding adults in Felix’s life, including school counselor Hugo, who helps him understand why his brain functions the way it does. Harris deftly and simply depicts mental illness through dialogue between Hugo and Felix. Felix makes great strides, including meeting a friend, and the novel concludes hopefully after a couple of bumps along the way. Readers gain an understanding of anxiety and OCD disorders. The illustrations could be tempting to some reluctant readers.
VERDICT This would be a good introduction for upper elementary students to mental health issues and will appeal to students who like Jeff Kinney’s "Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Rachel Renée Russell’s “Dork Diaries.”

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