Saturday, July 28, 2007

Total Constant Order by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Fin knows that something is wrong, she just doesn’t know what. She can’t stop counting. Some of the teachers at her new school think she just isn’t paying attention, but Fin knows that maybe she’s paying too much attention--to everything. Her dad wants to be buddies with his new girlfriend. Her mother wants her to go to counseling. Her counselor wants her to take Paxil, but her mother doesn’t want her to take meds at all. Fin feels like she’s all alone--until she begins a “conversation” with a tagger on the stall wall of one of the girls’ bathrooms. Maybe she’s not so alone after all, but will she ever be able to stop counting everything? Will she take the meds? Will she meet this tagger? Read Total Constant Order by Crissa-Jean Chappell and see.

Chappell does for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) what Jack Gantos and his character, Joey Pigza, do for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neither Gantos nor Chappell presume to solve their characters’ problems, nor do they preach or sugar-coat. They do not push any particular treatments. What they do is to skillfully offer the reader a glimpse into the minds of young people as they learn that, maybe, they’re not crazy--and that they aren’t alone. Total Constant Order, scheduled for release on October 23, 2007, is a worthy addition to any young adult collection.

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