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

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  567 ratings  ·  115 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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Crown (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
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
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
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
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.
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
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...more
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
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
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
**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
Jun 16, 2013 Vilo rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Pam Camel
I received a advanced copy of Raising Cubby by: John Elder Robison through netgalley. From the first page this book is great. John knows how to suck you in from the start and who wouldn't be sucked in when the story starts in a federal courtroom and Cubby is facing major felony charges all because of what you soon find out is a over zealous prosecutor.

This is not just a story of raising Cubby but the story of a man becoming a father. How he handles having a child and what happens when divorce en...more
I'm a big fan of autism memoirs, and of John Elder Robison in particular (and the Robison family/Augusten Burroughs too for that matter). And this book didn't disappoint. It's never been clear to me whether Robison is particularly high functioning on the spectrum when it comes to emotional matters, or whether his family members and life partners (and even book editors) have influenced him over the years. But this book is even more sweet and poignant than his other books: it's clear he loves his...more
Another great book by the author of "Look Me in the Eye" and "Be Different". John Elder Robison (the older brother of Augusten Burroughs who wrote "Running With Scissors.)writes about his adventures in fatherhood. I really like the fact that Robison is the reader of this book on cd - even though he doesn't have the best voice for reading, although pleasant, he puts all the inflection and emphasis where he actually means them to be. He has Aspergers Syndrome, so his approach to ordinary situation...more
Carol C
The majority of the book contains stories of the author and his family before his son's Asperger's diagnosis. It could definitely give some insight into what it's like to be a parent of a kid with undiagnosed Asperger's. The book did not delve too much into the author's experience of getting the diagnosis for his son. I found it fascinating to read how one person on the spectrum parents another person on the spectrum. My take on the book can not help but be influenced by my experiences with the...more
This book is about two lovable eccentrics, a father-son pair. The "Wondrous Dada" years took father and son from Cubby's babyhood to his pre-teen years. Father and son had lots of adventures involving cars, trains and boats. John told Cubby crazy stories, worried about his son's difficulty in learning to read, his refusal to do homework and his total lack of organization. Father and son grew apart during Cubby's adolescence. Cubby had an answer for every objection John made to his behavior, part...more
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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...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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