The prose poetry allows Worst-Case Collin by Rebecca Caprara to be a quick read, but without sacrificing the story. In the tone and style of Love that Dog and Hate that Cat, Caprara created a book that is both familiar in the subjects presented (growing up, bullies, the loss of a parent, friendship, mental health issues) and different (the father’s particular mental health issues). While I felt the ending was a bit forced, it also was the only way to do it. The realism of the resolution of Collin and the bully was refreshing. (SPOILER) They do not make friends with each other but do have a truce of sorts. Due to this, a book two could be possible.
When Collin’s mother is killed in a car crash, he and his father deal with the trauma in radically different ways. Collin starts a notebook of “Worst Case Situations” and how to survive them (attacks, fires, and more). His father starts to horde, buying things they do not need, never throwing anything out, and picks up “free stuff” when he can. Collin tries to keep this secret from his friends (as he is embarrassed by the Horde in the house) and keep stress from his father. But things finally come to a head, and the secret is out.
Dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder, hoarding and the impact on others, is a slightly unusual subject for a children’s (ages 8 to 12) book. I did not expect to like this book, but know this is something adults and kids need to read. The prose poetry format might turn off a few people, but also, helps keep the chapters short and accessible.