The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B for several reasons. It is the first time that I have read a young adult novel that depicted mental illness in a sensitive yet humorous way. I loved the way Teresa Toten gave the "first time in love" romance story a new twist by depicting two teens falling in love in the midst of their mental health struggles. I was fascinated with Adam's OCD behaviours and I also marvelled at how well the author described and researched the various anxieties exhibited by Adam's family and friends. I quickly connected with Adam and cheered him on throughout all of his struggles in the novel. I learned that mental illness affects all of those around you and I also realize how important it is to have support from friends, family and professionals. I am more appreciative of my family support system after reading this book.
I think this would make an excellent read aloud in an intermediate class as it would help to humanize people who suffer from mental illness and help reduce the stigma attached to mental health diagnoses.
It also teaches the reader that teens are susceptible and that we all need to ask for help when we need it. I think it would generate several discussion questions and would help to form a sense of community in a newly formed class.