Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

OCDaniel

King, Wesley (Author)
Simon & Schuster 2016. 296 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781481455312 (hardcover)
9781481455329 (paperback)
9781481455336 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, dialogue, point of view

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Award (Fiction) Winner – 2017

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Daniel describes himself as “a gangly, eccentric thirteen-year-old social oddity with only one real friend.” He has OCD, but he has managed to hide it from the people close to him. The glitches in his day – like not being able to write the number 6 or needing to flip a light switch on and off repeatedly – he calls “Zaps.” His main goal is to make sure people do not see him as crazy. In his spare time, he works on a novel called The Last Kid on Earth, written in the voice of the “normal” version of himself he wishes he could be.

When a classmate, who has not spoken in eight years, befriends him and asks for his help, Daniel gets caught up in unravelling a mystery of epic proportions, and he discovers he is not as alone in his differences as he thought.

Told in the charming, funny, first-person voice of an eighth grader, Daniel’s wry sense of humour vacillates between the comic and the slightly tragic: “I first realized I was crazy on a Tuesday. I mean, I suspected it before, obviously, but I was hoping it was just a phase, like when I was three and I wanted to be a fire truck.”

First relationships are also explored as Daniel gingerly develops a flirtation and friendship with Raya, a girl he finds to be the prettiest and coolest in his class. This is a highly accessible novel about differences and self-acceptance.

  •  Daniel writes a book about a “normal” teen. Compare the way the two narratives differ in both content and voice. What can be inferred about Daniel by comparing the two narratives?
  •  

    In small book club groups, discuss how the characters, Daniel and Sara, are constructed. Use specific examples from the text to illustrate your ideas.

  •  

    Use this story as part of a text set that looks at neuro-diversity in YA literature. Following discussions in book clubs or inquiry groups, produce a text that explores ideas and issues stemming from the texts.

  •  

    On page 44, Daniel identifies how he is perceived differently by his family members and friends. Brainstorm descriptive adjectives as a class. Create a personal perceptions word web using the word bank to assist you.

  •  

    Draw two story maps: one for the real Daniel and one for the fictional Daniel. Analyze and compare the characters and plot. What are the similarities? What does Daniel’s writing tell the reader about himself?

  •  Explore the father-child relationships in this novel. What personal connections were you able to make?
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development