- By Wesley King
- Reviewed by Anonymous
The following are out of 5
Racial Representation: 4
LGBTQ+ Representation: 2
Disability Representation: 4
Body Size Representation: 2
Gender Representation: 4
Socioeconomic Representation: 0
Mental Health Representation: 5
Religious Representation: 0
Own Voice: Yes
Wesley King writes about a boy named Daniel who struggles in silence with his mental health. King says it is almost autobiographical because he struggled with OCD, panic attacks, and anxiety for most of his young life before finally seeking help. He hopes that this book will encourage anyone else struggling similarly that they are not alone and can get help. Because this author is writing about his own experience with OCD, something that is often portrayed incorrectly in the media, I gave this book a 5 for mental health.
Racial representation got a 4 because none of the characters’ races are clear except for Raya Singh, who you find out is Indian through a microaggression-like incident. LGBTQ+ got a 2, because there are no clear characters who are a part of the community, but Daniel’s best friend Max who is a popular football player gets asked out by many girls and always says no, and gets grossed out by the thought of kissing or dating any of them. He also is very close with Daniel and makes jokes about them being dates to the dance, so I would like to think that he is maybe gay and is coming to terms with it just like Daniel is coming to terms with his OCD.
There is a 4 for disability representation because Daniel makes a new friend Sara who has an aid in school and is selectively mute. She and Daniel connect over being outcasts and thought of as crazy, but they also both connect beyond those identities. Body size is a 2 because Daniel struggles a little with being smaller than the other boys on the football team and notices that they all are more muscular than he is. Gender representation is a 4 because the two main female characters, Raya and Sara, are both fully developed characters, but they are also both love interests to Daniel and that is a big part of their parts in the story, especially Raya. There are no themes at all of socio-economic or religious media minorities.