Booklist: OCD Fiction for Teens

susan wiggs

Like having “an AD(H)D moment,” another phrase that drives me up a wall is when people start saying that they have “a little OCD.” Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not just a desire for a bit of order, or getting an urge for spring cleaning. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disability, one that often gets misdiagnosed and is misunderstood. About 1 in 200 teens have OCD, according to a 2009 study, with as many as 3 in 100 adults having OCD.

Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser was the first OCD fiction book for teens, with an OCD main character, and was published in 1999. However, it’s only been in the last four years, as this hidden disability has been more and more accepted, that there has been an influx of OCD fiction for teens. Below I’ve put together an OCD fiction booklist- if you know of more with OCD teen main characters, please share in the comments!

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AD(H)D Teen Fiction

susan wiggs


AD(H)D is one of those controversial hot topics in the normal world- while it’s actually a hidden disability, AD(H)D is all too often either pushed away as bad behavior or scoffed off as a phony diagnosis for those who want to control their kids. It doesn’t help when there are those out there who get medications prescribed for AD(H)D just for studying purposes without actually having AD(H)D. I have a bit of a better understanding, having a sibling who has AD(H)D, but I still can never fully understand how his brain clicks and whirls around, or how different his perceptions of life are from mine.

Need a perspective from someone who has AD(H)D? Read this article by Kalen O’Donnell.

Like all teens, AD(H)D teens want and need books that reflect them, and with some help from some AD(H)D teens, I’ve pulled together a list of AD(H)D teen fiction books that are realistic and honest. Know some others? Share in the comments!

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Resource: Disability in Kidlit


During ALA Annual in 2014, by sheer happenstance I got the wonderful opportunity to be seated at the Stonewall Brunch not only with e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, who was the co-winner that year, but also with the amazing Corinne Duyvis. I was completely envious of her hair and told her so, and we talked about her brand new novel Otherbound, which was just being released at that time.

It wasn’t until later that I connected the person I had talked with to the Corinne Duyvis I had been following on Twitter, co-founder of Disability in Kidlit.

If you aren’t following Disability in Kidlit on one of their social media channels, then you definitely need to ASAP. Edited by Kody Keplinger (The DUFF), Kayla Whayley, and Corinne, Disability in Kidlit focuses on pointing out the realistic portrayals of disabilities in middle grade and young adult literature. From their site:

Our goals:

  • To help readers, booksellers, librarians, and educators find good portrayals of disability in YA/MG, both by recommending books via reviews and by offering them the tools to judge these books for themselves.

  • To help writers create more authentic, accurate, and respectful disabled characters.

  • To help agents and editors recognize problematic portrayals of disability and steer their authors in the right direction.

  • To help publishers share their books with disabled characters to our passionate readership.

  • To give people from the disability community a place to discuss the books they loved, liked, and loathed.

What I love about Disability in Kidlit is that they make sure to get reviews and opinions from the disability community- they actively REFUSE to take contributions from those who are abled, even if they have a loved one who is disabled. They’re giving the disabled a voice, which is so often marginalized and trivialized within publishing. From taking a look at the original and updated versions of A Wizard Alone  to discussing labels and the responsibilities therein, the discussions run the full gambit. I am always learning, and am always engaged.