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

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,431 ratings  ·  284 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 livestock
Hardcover, 148 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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the golden witch.
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
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
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.
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
Gwen the Librarian
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
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
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
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
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
BAYA Librarian
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
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
Apr 08, 2013 Joan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Tina Andrade
Montgomery, S. (2012). Temple Grandin: How the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

2014 Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award Honor.


This book tells the story of Temple Grandin, a woman born with severe autism during a time when symptoms and characteristics of autism were still fairly unknown. Her father wanted to put her in a mental institution, but her mother refused an enrolled her in school instead. Temple
Bethley Giles
Montgomery, S. (2012). Temple Grandin: how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award Winner 2012

It was clear from the time she was a baby that Temple Grandin was different from anyone else. Though her father wanted to send her to an institution, her mother was certain that Temple's mind just worked differently. This biography covers Temple's life from
Jennifer Parrish
Temple Grandin was a lot different than any ordinary child when she was born and her parents knew that. After many years, she was diagnosed with Autism. Although doctors didn't have very high hopes for Temple, her parents did. Instead of putting her in a hospital, her mother sent her to school. She wanted Temple to learn and be successful just like anyone else. She did a lot of work with farm animals and cows in particular. She found a love for animals. Today, she is Dr. Temple Grandin and a pro ...more
Reading this book makes me want to see the HBO movie-- but what could be more authentic than learning from Temple herself. Montgomery does a good job of quoting here quite a bit, and my overall takeaway from the book was a greater understanding-- and sometimes appreciation-- of autism.

The book could have stood a bit of editing; at times a more linear arrangement might have been better. I listened to the audiobook, and countless times told myself, "Haven't I heard this before?". How many times di
Lisa Haywood
I hate to admit it, but I did not know who Temple Grandin was before I read the book by Sy Montgomery, Temple Grandin: How the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world. This is a fascinating biography of a girl who overcame the odds to not only make a success of her own life, but to improve the lives of animals as well.
The book begins with a foreword by Temple, who shares some personal facts about growing up with autism, as well as some high points from her career. We then begi
People like Temple Grandin absolutely amaze me. She was born with a handicap, which she didn't use as an excuse in life, but instead embraced it as a gift. Temple has autism and so she sees the world in different ways than most minds. I really appreciate how she has come up with ways to improve the life of animals - even if their lives are to end as food. I'm not a fan of vegetarianism, but I don't believe animals should be tortured, either. Just because I eat them doesn't mean I think their liv ...more
Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who changed the way live stock is handled all across the United States and various other countries. Her autism helped her see things that normal people wouldn't see. As a child Temple was agitated by human touch from hugs to even brushing up against her, as she got older she found that she could relieve her stress by getting hugged, but not by a human by a hug machine. She noticed that when cattle was put into these machines that would squeeze them they would ...more
Although I am not sure how, I did know something about Temple Grandin before I read Sy Montgomery's book, Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World.
I loved this quote by Temple Grandin from the Forward to the book: "Individuals who have been labeled with disabilities-- or even just quirky or nerdy kids-- often have uneven [love this term] skills. The ones who become successful in life are those who figure out how to use their unique abilities and passion
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.
Tricia Rogers
Very insightful read. Could relate to Temple and her "quirks" because of my sweet Owen. I loved her relation to why cows were frightened of certain things and how she could look at the situation and see why due to how her Autism made her reaction to similar things. I totally get this because before I had Owen, I never looked at rooms, noises, etc. the same way I do now. I have learned in the past 10 years to figure out what it is about a situation that is bothering him just be being in tune with ...more
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.
Kelly Haacke
I chose the book "Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World" By Sy Montgomery. This book is a biography about a girl's who has autism, but doesn't let it stop her from her live of cows and changing the world, and opening the door to a better understanding of autism. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 because even though the language is was easily written, I feel like it would be geared more for children over the age of 9 or 10. I liked how they picked autism an ...more
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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
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