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Kissing Doorknobs Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440413141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440413141
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 1.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,069,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Excellent, absorbing novel . . . Hesser's deft treatment turns this account into an honest, fresh, and multilayered story to which readers will instantly relate".

-- School Library Journal

The first novel for young adults that addresses Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). With approximately 1.5 million adolescents in the U.S affected, OCD is a pertinent issue to young readers. This story not only explores the confusion and fear experienced by 14-year-old Tara, but the anxiety and agony parents face when a child is suffering from OCD.

From the Inside Flap

During her preschool years, Tara Sullivan lived in terror that something bad would happen to her mother while they were apart. In grade school, she panicked during the practice fire drills. "Practice for what?, Tara asked. For the upcoming disaster that was bound to happen?
Then, at the age of 11, it happened. Tara heard the phrase that changed her life: "Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Before Tara knew it, she was counting every crack in the sidewalk. Over time, Tara's "quirks" grew and developed: arranging her meals on plates, nonstop prayer rituals, until she developed a new ritual wherin she kissed her fingers and touched doorknobs....

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 7 Feb. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. It shows inside the world of a young girl suffering form OCD. You see how she works and what she is feeling inside. It is really gripping!
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By A Customer on 12 April 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a nice try in terms of trying to help people understand what a child's experience of OCD is like. I bought it in the hopes that I could recommend it to those children that I work with who have OCD, and their families. Unfortunately, I found the quality of writing so poor that I don't think I would recommend it to anyone. (Why does the main character have to "scream" and "have tears pouring down her cheeks" all - and I mean all - the time?) In addition, the book tries so hard to be a "teen" novel too (first kisses, boyfriends, best mates with anorexia) that it detracts from the point.
Perhaps it is just a bit too American, perhaps I am too old (!) but I thought it was obvious and irritating.
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Format: Hardcover
I think this book is a real eye-opener for parents and other concerned individuals who deal w/a child with OCD. I think it will help others understand the demons that one with OCD experiences and perhaps enlighten those that think that this is just a stage that someone is going through. Physicians and therapists would also benefit greatly from this book and perhaps better understand what OCD is really like. I intend to have all the grandparents, my husband, and anyone else who questions what my son lives with read this book (I may order a copy for each of them!)
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By A Customer on 4 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kissing Doorknobs is a great book. It talks about the life of a girl with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It shows what life is like living with OCD and the challenge to over come it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8fb1e8c4) out of 5 stars 115 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fb3eda4) out of 5 stars This is an incredible book! 6 Mar. 2000
By 7th Grade Student - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I think the book Kissing Doorknobs is a must read. It's an incredible story and gives a lot of information on OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). This book is about a girl named Tara who discovers she is paying more attention to the cracks on the sidewalk after she hears the rhyme, "Step on a crack and break your mother's back." Slowly her problems get worse she talks to trolls, kisses the front doorknob every time she wants to leave the house, prays every time someone swears in front of her, worries about her parents staying out late, stays up until they get home, and organizes her food before she eats it. These problems become noticed by classmates who begin teasing her. Her sister, Greta, wants to defend Tara and will even beat people up for her.
Tara's mother gets really frustrated with Tara and hits her every time she kisses the doorknob. She repeatedly goes to psyciatrists that can't seem to help her. This continues until Tara's dad has a visitor over. This visitor knows about OCD and suggests that OCD might be what is causing Tara's problems. He gives her the name of a special psychiatrist that can help her, and the name and number of one of the doctor's patients. Tara does visit the "special" psyciatrist even though she "hates" her. She meets Sam, who has problems with washing his hands to often, and they begin to get involved...until and unexpected event happens and it changes everything
Thsi book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I couldn't wait to pick it up and let the book pull me in and fill the environment around me with it's vivid details. I had to be forced to put it down because this book was the kind of book that you want to finish reading once you start it because of the suspense. I woiuld recommend it to anyone because of it's quality. I loved this book and hope there will be a sequal because of how abrupt the ending was.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fb3ee1c) out of 5 stars This was an AWESOME book!!! 20 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Terry Spencer Hesser is an awesome author and she really knows how to make situations real. She made the novel "Kissing Doorknobs" a intresting story- also heartwarming. This book is about a girl named Tara facing OCD. Eveyone around Tara is falling apart because of her strange rituals-even her own family. Every time her mother swears she always prays and her mother hates it. Throughout the book Tara goes through many changes in her OCD.Such rituals include touching the doorknob and kissing her hand, countin cracks in the sidewalk and walking over every crack, having hideous thoughts that her mother or father were dead in a ditch somewhere. Whenever someone would make fun of Tara her little sister Greta would go beat them up for her. Greta got suspended about three time throughout the book.Tara has a bunch of friends. One of her friends is a evil person. Donna her friend smokes and shoplifts. Tara once tried to shoplift but she turned herself in. Towards the end of the book she meets a boy who has OCD too. She never knew anyone else had the same thing she had. Sam (the boy with OCD) introduces Tara to a therapist for OCD. Tara goes to therapy and stops her rituals. Sometimes she can't help but to them but other times she can stop herself. I think people of all ages should read this book because its has good facts in it. This novel also presents another exellent idea. You should never treat a person with OCD any different from another person. Tara's friends only treat Tara different when Tara was freaking out. If you want a good book to read go to your library and check out "Kissing Doorknobs" I guarentee that you won't want to put it down once you pick it up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fb3f00c) out of 5 stars The Book That Changed My Life 12 Sept. 2002
By Dannielle Albert - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I was reading Kissing Doorknobs, I was connecting with the main character, Tara, in so many ways! I could relate to everything that Tara did, said, felt or thought. I was thinking, "This girl is just like me! She has the same problems that are `strange' and `weird' and doesn't know why she has stupid thoughts!" Well, it turned out Tara was not crazy, she just had OCD. (Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder.) Little did I know, that 3 years later, I was about to find out why my life seemed so much like hers. I came into the doctor's office in 10th grade, 3 years after reading a book which made me almost sure I had OCD too. I initially went to see my doctor about sleeping problems, and came out diagnosed with OCD. "This explains everything!" I told my mom later. All my weird obsessions and rituals are all explained-and I'm not the only one in the world who has it either!" The solution to my problem was solved. I felt so much better, and I loved to see how there are other people out there with this mental disability such as myself. It was humorous, helpful, and thought provoking all in one. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks that they might be a little "weird!" :)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fb3f63c) out of 5 stars Wonderful, Sad 28 Mar. 2006
By Sarrah - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Story about a girl's downward spiral through obsessive compulsive disorder. Realistic details that anyone suffering OCD can relate to. It's a wonderful book. I cried after the first page because I knew how this girl felt.

It's the only novel I have ever read about OCD that I wanted to read again. It's written for young adults, but, is enjoyable for all ages.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fb3f660) out of 5 stars Kissing Doorknobs 16 Mar. 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Kissing Doorknobs" by Terry Spencer Hesser is about a girl named Tara who has obssesive-compulsive disorder. She does not know she has it so her, her friends, and her family think she is crazy. All her friends stop hanging out with her, because of all the strange things she does. Also, her parents fight a lot, because what she does drives them crazy. Finally, one of Tara's fathers friends come over and figure out what she has.

"Kissing Doorknobs" has many meanings. It says that even if life has you down, friends can help you through. In the book Tara has no friends until one day she meets a girl that becomes her best friend. Whenever she is around her friend she stops the strange things she does. So, when Tara was having a tough time a friend helped her out.

The characters in the book were very well developed. They all had their own attitudes. The parents were fed up with Tara's strangeness and were always mad. Her sister and her friend were normally calm and not like her parents. Also, the author put a lot of emotion into the story.

"Kissing Doorknobs" was a wonderful book. It was written very well and had a great meaning. It is a great book for teens.
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