Worst-Case Collin by Rebecca Caprara is a middle grade fiction novel told through poetry about a boy living with his father who has compulsive hoarding disorder. I greatly enjoyed this one, and some of the poems were so emotional that I almost cried.
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The summary, from Amazon:
Twelve-year-old Collin has a plan to survive any worst-case scenario. Avalanche? No problem. Riptide? Stay calm. He’s 100% prepared for every disaster…except maybe his home life.
Collin is always prepared for something to go wrong. Ever since he lost his mom in a car accident, he’s been journaling about how to overcome things like avalanches, riptides, or even a bad case of halitosis. Meanwhile, Collin’s father grows more distant by the day, and has started hoarding things throughout their house. Determined to hide his home life from his friends, Collin navigates middle school alongside the hilarious and clueless Liam, and Georgia, who Collin may have feelings for. Can Collin learn to be vulnerable around those he loves, even when he can’t control every possible scenario?
Buy Worst-Case Collin here.
Collin has anxiety after his mother passed away in a car accident two years ago. He has a book about worst-case scenarios and how to survive them and has them memorized. However, he’s living his own worst-case scenario. His dad has (presumably undiagnosed) compulsive hoarding disorder and The Hoard has taken over their home. Collin feels miserable, unsafe, and embarrassed. None of this friends know about the situation.
Collin has two best friends, Liam and Georgia (his crush). They are wonderful friends, able to stand up against Collin’s bully when Collin will not. Liam’s mother is an example of recognizing an adult who you can turn to for help. However, Collin doesn’t exactly want to reach out for help. He is understandably worried that if he does, CPS will take him away from his father.
This book is told through verse which I enjoyed. Some poems were so emotional that I almost cried, while others I felt were only poems because there weren’t enough words to make this a traditional chapter book. The poems were interspersed with tips from Collin’s worst-case scenario book, which were fun, informative, and sometimes offered foreshadowing. They almost always had something to do with what Collin was experiencing at that point of the novel.
The backmatter included information on compulsive hoarding disorder as well as resources.
Overall this was an emotional read and one that I think will stick with me. It definitely would have stuck with me as a child. I rate it 4 stars.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
Worst-Case Collin by Rebecca Caprara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This story is told through poetry which I really enjoyed. Worst-Case Collin is about Collin, a boy with anxiety after his mother’s death, dealing with his father’s compulsive hoarding disorder. I really enjoyed this one and some of the poems were super emotional, while others just felt like they were only in verse form because there weren’t enough words to make this a traditional chapter book. I loved Collin’s friends, Liam and Georgia, and that Liam’s mother was an example of an adult you can turn to for help.
Book Club Questions
- Why does Liam’s mom let him hang out with Collin even when he’s grounded?
- Why doesn’t Collin want his friends to come over his house? Is embarrassment his only reason? What else might he be worried about?
- Did Collin’s father have compulsive hoarding disorder before Collin’s mother died?
- What do you think will happen over the summer for Collin and the other characters? What about next school year?
Interested? Buy Worst-Case Collin.
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