When I See Blue by Lily Bailey

So Very Powerful

When I see Blue by Lily Bailey is a powerful children’s novel that explores the condition of OCD. It is perfect for ages ten years and over. I found it such a powerful insight into this paralyzing condition.

The novel is told in the first person from the point of view of twelve year old Ben. The reader really gets to know him as we witness the conflicts that play out in his head.

Lily Bailey shows the way thoughts, routines and fixations can really run amok in a mind. There is no ‘quick fix’. The person suffering from OCD really cannot help it and needs love, care, understanding and professional help to be able to cope with day to day life which we all take for granted.

The reader accompanies Ben to counselling. It helps us to better understand what is going on in the mind of a young sufferer.

Ben feels isolated. He feels an outsider and alone. School can be a cruel and lonely place as there is a pack mentality.

The novel is about friendship. It is about supporting each other through the tough times. It is about anticipating the needs of another.

We see the bravery needed to do the ordinary things we take for granted but which is massive if you suffer from OCD. It is being incredibly brave daily.

There are also problems within a family. It seems to be imploding as each family member struggles alone.

When I See Blue was a novel that consumed me. It was such a powerful read, sensitively portrayed by Lily Bailey. I loved her style of writing and want to read more, more more!

JULIA WILSON

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