Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anything but Typical

Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world.Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.
Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird - her name is Rebecca - could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he's terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is. By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy's struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
It was how I felt it sometimes when I was with my mother.  The way I would sometimes just fell just my head or sometimes just my toes and they'd feel warm.  And I felt safe with my mother.  I could breathe easily.  p.23
I was captivated by this story of Jason.  How he failed to recognize distinguishing features on people, and couldn't control his emotions or his physical gestures, how he really felt inside but was unable to express.  It was interesting to "see" inside his mind and how it worked.  So sad and so sweet.  I think I have a better understanding of autism now.  It was interesting to see how Jason couldn't comprehend his mother's emotions except to know the basics.  Complex emotions seemed out of reach for him.  But it was endearing how much he really loves his parents and how he expresses it to himself, but never can to them.  And it was interesting to see how people reacted to him and expected things out of him.  A very moving little book with a wonderful character, I was  deeply impressed with Anything but Typical.

Hogwarts: Muggle Studies
Autism Awareness


  1. This seems like a really interesting story. I look after autistic children every now and again (I'm a paediatric nurse) and it is interesting to see how their minds work. I imagine it would be difficult to display this in writing without trivialising it. However this book seems to have achieved it. Thanks for the review!!

  2. Interesting. I have a couple books about autism on my shelf, and several friends who have autistic children. This sounds like a good one to recommend.

  3. Andrea -

    I'm in the middle of this book right now! I feel much the same way you do about it - it's really fascinating so far. I was intrigued to read that Jason does feel things the way anyone does but he just can't express those feelings.

    Looking forward to finishing it -


  4. I saw this book awhile back and thought it looked really good. I want to read to hopefully gain a better understanding of kids with autism. I think it would be good for my students to read too since they go to school with students that have autism.

  5. @Elise - I think it tries to be a very honest and open book.

    @Amanda - I would say that it would probaby mean a lot to parents.

    @Sue - I look forward to your thoughts.

    @Jill - I would agree.

  6. Thanks for posting the review. This hadn't been on my radar, but this book sounds like a fantastic read.


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