Kid’s Book Review: When I See Blue

Kid’s Book Review: When I See Blue

About the Book and Author

From Lily Bailey is a story about a 12 year old boy who suffers with O.C.D. The author has experience of living with Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and writes with first-hand knowledge about its impact on a young person. Her hope is that this fictional story will help young readers to have a better insight into what it is like to be a young person living with this illness. We thank her for writing it and thank Hachette for sending us a copy for Malachi to enjoy reading.


Lily Bailey is a writer. She first became a journalist in London in 2012, editing a news site and writing features and fashion articles for local publications including the Richmond Magazine and the Kingston Magazine. As a child and teenager, Lily suffered from severe Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She kept her illness private, until the widespread misunderstanding of the disorder spurred her into action. In 2014 she began campaigning for better awareness and understanding of OCD. Her first book, Because We Are Bad (May 2016), recounts her experience of OCD, and was published in the UK, US, Australia and Germany.

Book Review

this is a fantastic book about acceptance, friendship and overcoming difficulties in life

What can I say about this book? I loved it!
“When I See Blue” is about a boy who expresses how O.C.D. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) affects his life. It is a fiction book, but based on life experiences of the author – Lily Bailey – who also suffered from severe OCD as a child.

So, why did I love it? Well, the main character, Ben, likes Dr. Who, and so do I! So, I felt a connection with the character straight away. A bit like when I read ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palicio. Like the author of ‘Wonder’, Lily Bailey got the message across quickly and steadily, from start to finish, that living with a disability like OCD isn’t easy – but if you have friends around you who understand and support you then you can go a long way!

Anyway, enough about the main message of the book, let me tell you about the story (without giving too much away)! Ben is 12 years old, the new kid at school, his special number is four and you could say “He has a bully in his brain”, like his therapist Dinesh said. This bully isn’t like any other bully, no, this is the O.C.D. bully who doesn’t rest and makes Ben exhausted from doing compulsions (things that he can’t help but do). Like touching his toes 64 times (64 is 4 cubed – 4 being his favourite number), or counting to four to stop bad things from happening. When starting his new school and meeting April his life began to turn around.

This book tells the story of how April and Ben got to know each other and how their friendship grew. Their friendship also helped Ben to stand up to the ‘bully in his head’.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with a powerful message and characters that you can relate to. I am 10 years old and I think this book is aimed at people my age and older, with the main character being 12 himself.

Overall, I would say this is a fantastic book about acceptance, friendship and overcoming difficulties in life.

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Reviewer Profile

Malachi and his book
  • Name: Malachi
  • Age: 10 years
  • Likes: climbing mountains, football and Lego
  • Dislikes: eggs and bullies
  • Favourite Book: Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Favourite Song: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune
  • Favourite Film: Valiant