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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

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  967 Ratings  ·  155 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
Published March 12th 2013 by Random House Audio (first published January 15th 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,805)
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Diane Yannick
Mar 25, 2013 Diane Yannick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2013 Kristim99 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Trina Clarey
Mar 03, 2013 Trina Clarey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Apr 06, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Mar 15, 2014 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Jul 03, 2016 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-2016
This is a wonderful book, and I really loved what it has done for Autism Awareness. It was quirky and funny, and really insightful to what it is like to live with Asperger's. I really enjoyed reading this memoir, and I think that anyone interested in learning a bit more about Autism in general should read it.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.

For a more detailed review, please see
Aug 29, 2013 Marianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2013 T.Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 10, 2013 Renae rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
**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
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
May 15, 2016 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really about a lot more than high explosives. It's about a dad and his son. A father with an immense amount of pride in his son. And about the boy's mother and their lives growing up together, apart and along the continuum of life. It's also about Asperger's and autism, standing up for what's right, having adventures, and learning. It's well written.

What's surprisingly personal for me is that I was friends with Mary R (Little Bear) in college and this is about her, her son, and his
Jan 29, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Raising a child is a challenge. Raising a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is more of a challenge. Raising a child with Asperger’s when you have Asperger’s yourself is really challenging. Follow John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye), as he chronicles his adventures in raising his son, Cubby. This is a highly entertaining read, regardless of whether or not you have personally touched by Asperger’s Syndrome. Follow Robison as he uses his unconventional approach to parenting to navigate his son thr ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
MaryJane Rings
May 03, 2015 MaryJane Rings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
After reading Mr. Robison's first book, I was glad to see that he had written a second. His way of expressing himself and the way he looks at the world is really amazing. He sees things in a truly objective way and doesn't take anything for granted. In this highly technical, sometimes impersonal world, that concept is refreshing. He actually enjoyed being a father. Who knew that having stock in the utility companies could warrant a visit? The quality time he spent with his son and his dedicatio ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Vilo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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.
Sep 02, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Clif Brittain
Nov 03, 2014 Clif Brittain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I know anyone with Aspergers. This book was a real eye-opener. That people can be even more oblivious to social signals than me is incredible. For me, it is simply inattention. For them, it is a permanent state, although it's effects seem to diminish as we age. Unlike me, who gets worse as I get older. Certainly to be a teen with Aspergers would make a difficult time unbearable, unless they ,are able to find a community.

The author, Wondrous Dada, has a wonderful sense of humor that
Mar 13, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 25, 2015 Donnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure how I felt about this book until I got about halfway through it. I wanted to learn more about autism and at first I didn't think this book would help me but, in the end, it was very interesting and gave me a picture of some of the challenges a parent faces when they raise a child with autism. In this case, the boy's mother and father also had autism. Both the father and son had Asberger's and their high functioning in some areas might have made some things possible that otherwise w ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You have to admire the subtitle for Raising Cubby – “A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives.” That sounds fun, right?!

You may be familiar with John Elder Robison – his first book was the impressive memoir, Look Me in the Eye, in which Robison tells the story of his own childhood with Asperger’s (although the label did not exist at that time). A lot of his story has stayed with me, particularly the parts about his difficulties finding and keeping jobs
Oct 28, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could have rated this 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the book, and I'm afraid that 3 stars doesn't quite do it justice. Really the fault is more my expectation of what I hoped the book would be than the book itself. I had hoped to read the story of raising Cubby and be able to nod in agreement at every page say, "Wow, other families are having the same experiences we are"....and to feel validated. But as they say, "You've met one kid with autism, you've kid with autism." In m ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read others books by Robison and enjoy his style. This one was very good and also highlighted his mother and brothers books as well. (Did not realize "Running with Scissors" was his brother.)

This book worked on so many levels: being "different", being a parent, being a child with "different" parent, and being a parent of a "different" child. Common themes in many lives regardless of what your "differences" are. Also good narrative of the family life both while they were married and divor
Aug 29, 2014 Sheridan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**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
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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
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