Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Anything But Typical
Nora Raleigh Baskin's new middle grade novel, Anything But Typical, gives a firsthand account of what it is like to live with autism. I have read a few other books for adults (think Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) narrated in this manner, but this is the only one I can think of written for kids. There are several things I liked about this book:
1. Jason's parents, while affected by his autism diagnosis, were great advocates for him and helped him and his brother (also diagnosed in the autism spectrum) with trying to assimilate into the real world.
2. The writing is much like Jason's thoughts. Things jump around a bit from time to time. A question asked in one paragraph might not be answered until a page or so later.
3. Even though Jason didn't necessarily fit in socially at school, there was one person he had grown up with who continued to make an effort to include him
4. Baskin created what I think is a realistic reaction to Jason by some others- and it isn't always good. She shows that teachers and peers and even Jason's cousins are not always very understanding of him.
5. While Jason is able to share his feelings by writing, expressing himself verbally is not very easy for him at all.
I am planning on purchasing this title for my school library - I am excited to share this title with my older elementary students who may be surprised to hear a story from Jason's perspective.