Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives
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Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  590 ratings  ·  119 reviews
The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad’s relationship with his equally offbeat son—complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble

Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn’t a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fa...more
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Published March 12th 2013 by Random House Audio (first published January 15th 2013)
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Diane Yannick
John Robison is an authentic voice for Aspergers. He' s also an authentic voice for human beings who are doing their darndest to navigate the complexities of a world littered with people who lack human compassion. When I read his memoir, Look Me In The Eye, I became a fan so of course I had to read about Cubby. I loved sharing this look into the life of a father and son raising each others' awareness of the gifts and challenges of living with Aspergers. If indeed autism is a result of genetic pr...more
TAMMY CUEVAS
John Elder Robison's life hasn't been typical. Raised in what some might call a dysfunctional family, he spent years wondering why he didn't fit in with others. His slant on life was slightly skewed and he did not fit in the traditional public school. Socially awkward, he had few friends until he met a girl he called Little Bear. Friends for years, their relationship finally turned romantic. After a few years of marriage, she gave birth to their only son, who John nicknamed Cubby. Although many...more
Cheryl
A father's love for his son

First and foremost in "Raising Cubby," the reader can tell immediately that John Elder Robison loves his son, Cubby, and vice versa.

I loved this tale of Cubby's early life. Robison (the Wondrous Dada) is a master raconteur, keeping his young son (and the reader) entertained with strange and fantastical stories concerning their everyday life.

He also took Cubby on field trips I wish I could have gone on, to railyards, to power stations, to shipyards, to nuclear plants (n...more
Trina Clarey
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

When I entered the draw for this book I wasn't sure if I would read it or just donate it to the local school library if I won. Well, I did win a copy and when I received it in the mail I began reading it. I continued reading it all the way to the end.

Mr. Robison writes in such a way that you feel like you're sitting across from him, drinking coffee and listening as he tells you his story. His style is refreshing and really enjoyable to...more
Lthelibrarylover
A really interesting read about Asperger's. The first half of the book was a little boring. I wanted to get to the action and explosives already! However the first half of the book provides the context needed to understand the second half of the story. The prologue sets up the court case, however readers don't find out until the end of the book. This was the incentive to stick through the earlier chapters. Some of the things that happened within the 'justice system' in sorting out the case shock...more
bookczuk
If men are from Mars, and women from Venus, then John Elder Robison is from a whole different universe from me. That's not to say I didn't like the book, because I did, or that I didn't think he loved his son and tried his best to be a good father, because he did. Some brains are wired differently, and that difference makes it hard for those individuals to fit into the world where most of us reside. So when you get an intelligent, articulate, and observant man, who has a differently wired brain,...more
Kristim99
I actually was planning to give this book to my sister. She is an educator and deals with autistic children daily. Fortunately, before I put it in the mail, I opened it up to take a quick look and was hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was amusing and touching, and informative at the same time. My son and husband both want to read it now. As for my sister, she'll get it eventually.
Shannon
I enjoyed Look Me In The Eye: My Life with Asperger's, and won a copy of Raising Cubby through a Goodreads drawing.

Raising Cubby touches on Robison's earlier life, but chiefly focuses on his relationship with his only child. Robison was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (a condition on the autism spectrum) when he was an adult, and as he states, "The gifts and disablilities of Asperger's go hand in hand." His distinct perspective resulted in many one-of-a-kind parent/child experiences, but he i...more
Melody
I really enjoyed Robison's Look Me In The Eye, and I hoped I'd enjoy this one just as much. I didn't, though I still found it interesting. The second half of the book picks up speed and interest. Much of the first part is amusing but repetitive. Just like childrearing, yeah. I enjoy being able to look at the world through Robison's eyes, and I'll certainly read the book he alludes to in this text, the one he's writing now.
Kurtbg
This book tells the story of a man with asperger's and his son, who also has it. The author turns out to have done some interesting things in his life (restore cars, create pyrotechnics and guitars for KISS in the 70's).

He also liked to engage in elaborate story-telling to his son to explain things with sometimes humorous results. However, many of these evinced winces as they can be seen to go beyond fanciful. Like, explaining how children come from a Kid's store and come with guarantees, or how...more
Marianne
I really wanted to like this book, but never really did. It's too much of the same chapter after chapter. Nothing really happens in this book, it's just a father's rambling of life as a parent. I even skipped 4 chapters in the middle and never even noticed the difference.
Brandy Nightingale
I'm a big fan of John Elder Robison. Having read his two previous titles, "Look Me In The Eye" and "Be Different" (both in one sitting, mind), I could not wait to read Raising Cubby. From the moment I opened the first page, I was completely engrossed in the story and was saddened to put it down once I had finished. His writing is incredibly descriptive--I feel I know each character personally. And at the risk of sounding a bit creepy, I found myself wishing I had the author as a "Dada", or at le...more
Janaki Kuruppu
I wanted to like this book! I love the idea of getting inside the thinking of someone who has suffered with a different way of perceiving the world, and how that difference plays out in living a life.

But I spent the whole book waiting for the revelation about how the author made the discovery of his own Asperger's diagnosis (which he never really does), and he finally devotes one short chapter to his son's diagnosis - without any real comment on how his son accepted the diagnosis, and only minim...more
Melissa
I've read John Elder Robison's "Look Me in the Eye" and "Be Different" -- both excellent books, so I was thrilled when I won a copy of "Raising Cubby" from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway (especially since I was planning on purchasing the book anyway)!

JER's writing style is brilliant, which is perhaps the primary reason he has become one of my favorite authors. JER is not only a fascinating person with a fascinating life story, but he also has a great sense of humor, which shines through in a...more
T.Rob
John Robison is perhaps best known for his first book Look Me In The Eye." It is a great book and it opened my eyes to my own Asperger's. The only issue I have with it is that the book resonates so well that it tends to define the Asperger's experience. For that reason, I highly recommend "Raising Cubby" as a companion. It has John's trademark mischievous wit and great storytelling, but it also provides a different glimpse of Asperger's as John tries to understand Cubby through the lens of his o...more
Renae
**DNF** I won this book as a goodreads giveaway.

Like a few other readers before me, I so wanted to like this book. I'm intrigued by the minds of those with Asperger's But this book drove me nuts. I couldn't even finish it. I can understand that perhaps the author wanted to protect his family by using pseudo names but come on! There are only so many times I can read the words Big Bear, Little Bear, and Cubby. This was a major turn off for me. I wanted to know how the author and his son received t...more
Judy Gesch
I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this book, but I must agree with those reviews that rated the first half of the work lower than the second. Detailed accounts of the author's daily parenting tasks were at times almost painfully slow and self absorbed. Vastly more interesting was the backdrop of the trial and Cubby's ability to cope and succeed, turning his Asperger's into a career asset. This is inspiring. Given Robison's commitment to Autism awareness, I too had hoped for more in regar...more
Dan Rugg
Well being a father to a son diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome I headed to my library armed to pickup a few books to gain knowledge and education as to what this diagnosis meant. I have been on a 5 year mission to educate myself and find out how I can best help my son with the trial and tests he faces in everyday life, the book I would stumble upon next was Raising Cubby, I picked it up and started to read and wondered could it help? A few moments later I found myself at the checkout with this...more
Carla
Mr. Robinson has let readers into his world of Asperger's with previous novels, this time he gives us a more 'intimate' glimpse into parenting. He has Asperger's which is a high functioning on the autistic spectrum and so is his son, Cubby.

From the moment Cubby is born, there is no doubt there is a deep love, but there is a deep fear - like drawing a sharpie mark to make sure that the right child will come home with him. After signs begin to develop, Robinson, who lacked an understanding or comm...more
Vilo
Whether or not you've read John Robison's memoir LOOK ME IN THE EYE, you can enjoy this account of his adventures raising his only son. There is a lot that parents of "neurotypical" children can relate too. Many of the questions and challenges of raising a child come up in the book. Fortunately, not every child is charged in state superior court on terrorist charges. Edge-of-your-seat excitement and a lot to learn.
Angie
Raising Cubby was different than any other book that I have read regarding a father and son relationship. The writing of the book itself was a little stranger than most and I think that is due to the fact that John Robison has aspergers and as he said in the book he communicates differently than most people, so it was probably written exactly as he thinks and speaks. Nothing wrong with it at all it was a good insight into the mind of someone with aspergers. This book is incredibly interesting on...more
Jeanne
John Elder Robison puts a unique spin on the autism books out there -- he writes not just as the parent of a kid on the spectrum but as a dad who has Asperger's himself. It's a fascinating read from that aspect, but even better, it's an entertaining one! Robison is a guy who doesn't take himself too seriously, and that always makes a memoir better.
Sheridan
**Check out my full review here**

Cubby had a very spunky, energetic and enthusiastic childhood. Cubby was curious as a child, often wondering where certain objects came from and why he was expected to do the tasks that every child should learn how to perform. Cubby had an interest in everything - from trains all the way to the Run of the Bulls in Spain. Cubby's mind was eager to explore his surroundings and learn more about the place that he lived in. As Cubby grew, his father had taken him on s...more
Lynn
I liked this book more than I thought possible. It gives me a great idea of people who live with Aspergers syndrome or what is now considered high functioning autism. The author John Elder Robinson also wrote a memoir called "Look Me In the Eye" and "Be Different", a guide for people with Aspergers syndrome, relatives, and educators' etc. I haven't read those books but I will be reading "Look Me in the Eye" at some time. This book focuses on John Elder Robison raising his son, nicknamed Cubby. B...more
Jo-Anne McBride
I'm a bit conflicted about how to rate this book. I read it because I have a relative with
Asperger's and have read John Elder Robinson's other books. They offer much insight into how John thinks, how other people act around him, etc. Very valuable for understanding.
Strictly as a book, though, I found it ... bland. I didn't really care how the court case ended as the author wasn't able to make me care.
So, if someone who just wanted a good read asked me for a recommendation, this would not be it;...more
Crystal
I met Mr. Robison and Jack Robison (the titular Cubby) at an autism conference last year. I can say with some certainty that Mr. Robison writes much the way he speaks. He's very straightforward, and in his way, a born storyteller. He also gave me (a mother of two children with autism) the advice to set up opportunities for my children that would let them have experience in their interests, and in his speaking and his book he gives concrete examples of how one would do that. I took that advice to...more
Shane
Loved this just as much as 'Look Me in the Eye', so only fair it gets 5/5 as well. Really loved both books very much. As the title suggests, this focuses on raising his son Jack, aka Cubby. So many great stories, lots of them very funny, and others can be very emotional. I imagine parents would get even more out of this book, comparing the stories they've told their own kids to watch John would tell his son. Cubby's interest in rockets and explosives took me back as well to 'Rocket Boys', a book...more
Gina Denny
This was less impactful than Robison's other titles, at least for me. If you don't know, Robison writes for and about the autistic/Asperger's community, and has been an excellent voice for those within the community.

The three of his titles that I've read, and how you can best use them, if you're interested in high-functioning autism or Asperger's*:

LOOK ME IN THE EYE: John's memoir, about how Asperger's affected his life all the way from his preschool days up through his middle-aged years. He d...more
Sherry Sidwell
This book succeeds as a charming memoir of a father trying his best to give his only child the best childhood he can. Much of it is heartwarming and offers up some real outside the box thinking. It's less successful as an autism/Asperger's memoir because neither father nor son was diagnosed until adulthood or close to it and it nearly always seems to be presented as an afterthought.

(Full disclosure: This is coming from someone who has also gone through life undiagnosed and has a child with more...more
Max
I enjoyed a lot about this book. The second half in particular is where the real conflict and struggles begin for the Robison family. As a dad with Asperger’s struggles to raise his son who also has Asperger’s (and the boy’s mother also seems to have a form of autism, they learn later) there’s all kinds of room for self-discovery. Especially with information and diagnoses only relatively recent, there’s lots to chew on here about unusual behavior and how the brain works differently for different...more
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183819
I was born in rural Georgia, where my dad worked as a country preacher. I was kind of a misfit growing up. In fact, the bigger I got, the more misfit I became. At age 8, I got a little brother, and he was a misfit too. I dropped out of school in 10th grade, and never looked back. My brother dropped out a few years later, following in my footsteps.

I've had a number of careers . . . I designed sound...more
More about John Elder Robison...
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults

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