There's a boy in the girls' bathroom ISBN: 9780747552574
Published by Bloomsbury, 2001
Bradley Chalkers is eleven years old and has had to be in the fourth grade for two years running. He lies, refuses to do any work at school, and spends his time cutting up paper into tiny pieces. At home he has a number of toy animals. They like him, but no one else does, and he believes he likes it that way. When new counsellor Carla comes to the school, Bradley begins by being highly suspicious, but she gradually works on his self-esteem, and he comes to depend on her. Some parents, upset at the idea of a school counsellor, have Carla transferred, and Bradley comes close to returning to the old ways. However, new friendships have come along that keep him on the straight and narrow, and the book ends on a positive note. There is some hint that Bradley may have autistic or Asperger's tendencies - mainly his repetitive behaviour. His behaviour is certainly bizarre, but his parents appear supportive and loving. The sessions between Carla and Bradley ring true. This is a long novel - almost 200 pages - but full of interest that keeps one going.