Double Felix by Sally Harris is a wonderful book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began. Initially, I suspected something quirky and whimsical and while the book certainly boasts those qualities, its underlying message is pertinent to the point that I think as many schools and parents as possible should have their children exposed to it.
Double Felix is about a boy with OCD, and who can seldom function unless he abides by his unfathomably long list of unorthodox rules. Harris flawlessly puts the reader in Felix’s head, where they can experience the near constant anxiety he feels first hand. Not only is it an extremely sympathetic portrait of a person with these kind of stipulations on their life, it is also very accessible in its presentation, so that younger readers may get a handle on it.
Despite Felix’s struggles to overcome his OCD, the story remains a wholly uplifting and light-hearted affair. There are some brilliant characters in this book, from new student Charlie Pye, Hugo the school counselor and of course, Felix’s family. Not only do these characters bring their own unique energy to the story, their dynamic with Felix is an equally valid representation of those who live, love and support friends and families similar to Felix.
Overall, Double Felix makes for an excellent addition to any bookshelf, in the home or in the classroom, if only to broaden children’s awareness of those of us who are like Felix.