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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,095 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism.
   While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead.
   Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the live
Hardcover, 148 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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usagi ☆ミ
Hi, my name is Usagi, and I’m autistic. More specifically, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, one of the “lighter” forms of the disorder on the autism spectrum. I’ve been mainstreamed (meaning never put in special education, but instead with a classroom with neurotypical (“normal”) kids my entire life. And never have I been so happy to have been raised as such. I was dubbed highly gifted in fourth grade, I did honors and AP classes (for everything but math), I went to UCSB, majored in Japanese, went t ...more
Jul 14, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I've already read several books by Grandin - she's my hero. But I'm excited to read this anyway. Not just because the mind of an autistic person is fascinating, not just because Grandin's mind is fascinating, not just because I am so very grateful to Grandin for her work with and on behalf of animals, especially her efforts to treat cattle more humanely, but also because everything I've read by Montgomery so far has been engaging, enlightening, and enchanting.
Done. My expectati
Jun 22, 2015 Mack rated it really liked it
This book helped me to understand the disorder more fully, having a nephew who fits into the autism spectrum and diagnosed with lack of social and verbal skills. My initial praise was for Temple’s Mother for not accepting the conventional advice and setting out to get the help that her daughter needed and showing that all things are possible. I also admired the photos illustrating her journey and her passion and understanding to all animals. Temple's brilliance with design helped with a more hum ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: autism, biography, andy
Good biography and story about Temple Grandin's interests and how she made these interests into a successful career. However, I think the author got a little strident about the animal welfare issues near the end of the book. We were reading it for the autism -- I ended up skipping extensive descriptions of animal slaughter. Andy would say "again?" when I started another paragraph about the horrors of factory farming.
Never in a million years did I expect to be so impacted by this book. When I closed its cover, I actually spoke "Wow!" aloud! Grandin has succeeded because of her autism, not in spite of it.
Montgomery weaves a good explanation of what autism is and how it can affect people through her account of Grandin's youth and college years. Grandin's approach to life is different than many; not only did it work for her, it brought her to a successful and meaningful career. Her ability to recognize pain and
Connie D
Apr 18, 2016 Connie D rated it really liked it
This is a biography of Temple Grandin written for young adults; in other words, it's the short version of her life story, which is what I wanted right now.

I appreciated learning how Temple and her mother dealt with her early autism and panic attacks. I also appreciated Grandin's advice and encouragement to others with similar issues; it's lovely that she is aware of the positives of autistic abilities. Her understanding of animals, her assistance to them through extremely clever designs, and he
May 11, 2012 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
Enlightening and engaging, students and adults alike will find something to love about this book. While the author writes for a tween/young teen audience, I’m willing to bet the average person of any age will learn quite a bit about autism from Temple Grandin.

Through her astounding story, titular visionary gives inspiration to youngsters who are autistic, suffer bullying, or simply feel “different” from their peers. She encourages readers to go against the grain and develop their own abilities.
Gwen the Librarian
Apr 23, 2012 Gwen the Librarian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, biography
From book jacket and endpapers to interviews and author notes, this is a beautifully and thoughtfully crafted book. Opening with a prologue from Temple Grandin herself, it is obvious that Sy Montgomery has a great respect for her subject and took care to tell about Grandin’s life in a well-rounded way, not smoothing over bumps in her personality or the difficulties that autism present and also not putting Grandin on a pedestal in spite of her many talents and accomplishments. The friendly and de ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Alicia rated it really liked it
People, especially children, have a very difficult time understanding autism and its symptoms. Like it is hard for Temple Grandin to understand people's body language and their motives, it is hard for other people to understand what is going on in Temple's mind. Montgomery explains autism in a very fresh and simple way, using insightful comparisons that children can grasp. Too many books about people who have autism or other disorders ask the reader to feel sympathy for these people. Montgomery ...more
Feb 22, 2013 Fran rated it really liked it
Compelling biography about Temple Grandin and her many accomplishments despite her diagnosis of autism. The book both explains autism and chronicles Temple’s life in a well written, thoughtful, and easy-to-read style. Powerful message to any student on the autism spectrum and also provides information to help other students appreciate their autistic classmates. Temple says that she would not trade her brain for a “normal” one even if she could. Wonderful photographs, graphics, and colors combine ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Sy Montgomery does an outstanding job with this book, managing both to chronicle the story of this truly amazing woman, and also bring an understanding of autism and its challenges to young readers. She does this while examining a subject a lot of us cringe away from - the treatment and slaughter of animals we use for food. She handles this difficult area with great skill, not shrinking from what happens but writes with a matter-of-factness that made it approachable. This had to be a challenging ...more
Mar 13, 2017 Kayla rated it really liked it
A very quick biography about a fascinating woman who changed the way livestock animals were treated. I've wanted to read this ever since watching the movie about her life and glad I did!
BAYA Librarian
Sep 15, 2012 BAYA Librarian rated it it was amazing
A biography of one of the world’s most well-known and respected autistic persons, Temple Grandin – an animal scientist, advocate for the humane treatment of animals, professor, and revolutionary –overcame monumental challenges and changed the way an entire industry understands animals. Grandin was born in an era when autism was considered juvenile schizophrenia; her own father called her “retarded” and “crazy” and tried to institutionalize her, but Grandin’s mother supported her as the bullied d ...more
Johanna Perez
Jun 01, 2015 Johanna Perez rated it it was amazing
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World was a good read. This book is an eye opener. It not only explains what autism is, it also teaches us that anything is possible. I liked that the book gave a clear visual about how someone with autism view the world around them. I felt extremely educated by the book, I knew, like many of us know about autism, but it was extremely helpful to be told how an autistic brain functions. I knew there were differences when ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
A good, fun read, though not necessarily on a literary level--I didn't see anything to make this a Newbery. In particular, the organization felt haphazard at times, and the language is occasionally clunky. ("Back then, that future seemed farther away than the clouds in the sky." Maybe an attempt at putting a visual to a concept in order to mimic Grandin's thinking? It readsawkwardly to me.) Sometimes the author throws in clauses that seem apropos of nothing, making me wonder what point she was t ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Victoria rated it it was amazing
For younger readers, this book serves as a wonderful introduction into more than a simple biography of Temple Grandin’s life, but also works to introduce children to autism, animal welfare and offers advice that would be helpful to higher functioning children on the autism spectrum, as well as to other children. A solid overview of Grandin’s life is given here, with details about her schooling as well as her professional successes. Her extraordinary life, and the way she far surpassed all the ex ...more
Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism when she was a small child (back in the days when autism wasn’t well-known or understood). Her father thought she should be institutionalized, but her mother worked hard to keep her daughter at home and give her the opportunities that “normal” children had. Temple didn’t always have it easy as she struggled to overcome many of the obstacles autistic people face (inability to read people’s expressions, sensitivity to noise/light/crowds, anxiety, teasing, b ...more
Gosh, I'm in love with everything Temple Grandin stands for, everything she's fought for, everything she's imparted. She is a hero.

This book (and I want to explore the others) are absolutely spot-on in worshiping her for the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and drive that she has irregardless of her autism. Growing up in a time when autism wasn't understood and was likely to get you institutionalized and labeled (as her father wanted), her mother fought to understand and figure her out. What did s
Apr 08, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Animal lovers and disability stories
This was a fascinating book! Grandin is an Asperger's Syndrome person. Often these people get deeply involved in their passions. Grandin's happened to be cows and other livestock animals. She has produced huge changes in how the livestock industry works. Because of her condition she has an uncanny aptitude for placing herself in the mindset of various animals, especially cows. She is probably the only person ever to win awards from both the livestock organizations and PETA. She has made life inc ...more
May 24, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it
I breezed through this memoir co-authored by Grandin and Sy Montgomery in ebook format, courtesy of the Indiana Digital Media online library consortium. I didn't realize until I started reading that it's basically a YA book, with age-appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure and tone. However, that in no way takes away from the work; in fact, I can see it becoming a valuable resource for teachers and parents working with young people on the autistic spectrum.

While I was already familiar with t
Sep 15, 2014 Nora rated it liked it
This book was really inspirational, it’s about a girl who was born with autism and didn’t think the way “normal” people do. She couldn’t read peoples’ faces, which made interacting in a “normal” way harder. But she was amazingly smart, and could make inventions she knew would work, not in spite of her autism, but because of it. She loved animals, and when she found out about how animals were treated at slaughterhouses, she began to think of new ways to make these animals’ last days much better, ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Cailin rated it liked it
I'm not sure how I felt about this book. It was interesting to an extent, and I really do like the aspect of trying to get into the brain of someone who thinks completely differently than me.
I think that on a personal note, I found the story to be inspiring because I know someone who has Asperger's, and has had many difficulties in his life because of it- but he is amazingly smart.
I do, however, agree with with Kenzie wrote that it just didn't feel quite right to me how it was written. I would
May 05, 2014 Beckiezra rated it liked it
3.5 really, and probably higher if autism was a topic more relevant to me. This was interesting and I would definitely recommend it to anyone dealing with autism personally or in their family or friends. This is a book that could give them hope and was easy to understand. It was a biography not fiction so I shouldn't really judge things about Temple's life, but there were times when I couldn't help thinking that coming from a wealthy family makes a difference in treatment options or stuff like t ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidsstuff, nonfiction
this is juvenile non- fiction, and very quick and easy to read and understand. i feel more informed about autism and what it means. i am having robert read this book now, and he seems to like it. warning- there are some sad and gross parts because the book describes stuff that temple grandin saw and worked to improve in the "food animal" industry.
Mar 06, 2013 Wendy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this junior edition biography. It gave me a whole new perspective on the gifts and unique talents that accompany what we term a disability. Temple is not just someone who overcame difficult circumstances. She is an exemplary human who has made monumental achievements and contributions to our society. This will be required reading for my family.
May 24, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
A really quick overview of Temple's life and accomplishments. I feel like this would be great for an elementary student or class to read... Except for the description of the slaughterhouses and animal abuses that Temple helped to change to make more humane. That grossed me out.
Jan 24, 2015 Jasmyne rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book! It taught me how Autistic people think. Instead of picturing words, they use images. They don't like loud noises. Reading about Temple's life taught me that if you set your mind to it, you can do anything. Even if everybody says otherwise.
Paul  Hankins
Super non-fiction text here. Don't let your readers miss this one. Temple Grandin is one special person you won't want young people to miss or to not know.
Aug 24, 2013 Sidney rated it it was amazing
Great story - well written and interesting. Temple Grandin is one of my heroes now - she's a great role model for everyone, especially girls.
Jun 25, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
Inspiring story of this amazing woman and what she has accomplished so far!
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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b ...more
More about Sy Montgomery...

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