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Anything But Typical

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,754 ratings  ·  837 reviews
Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.

Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Sep 14, 2014 Gundula rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults interested in stories about autism and related conditions
Jason Blake is autistic and finds the neuro-typical world around him, but especially school, over-stimulating, often incomprehensible. Most days it is just a matter of time before something goes wrong, before he either does something or says something others find weird or inappropriate, or before one of his classmates (and sometimes even his teachers) make fun of him or react negatively to him. Jason's one solace and escape is the Storyboard website, where he can be himself, where he can write h...more
i'm autistic. and i loved this book for so many reasons. i'm not sure why i read every fictional book i can find about autism when they always disappoint me, leaving me wondering if that is how the rest of the world really sees us, wondering how a doctor could have labeled me with something when i'm nothing like autistic characters in book. but this book. was fantastic and instantly resonated with me. i loved how the author described jason's relationship with his mother, that feeling of...more
Katie Fitzgerald

I have read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I have read Rules, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, and I am halfway through Marcelo in the Real World. Books about characters who have autism have always intrigued me, and I loved every single one of the books I just mentioned. But nothing compares to Anything But Typical.

This is the story of a 12 year old boy named Jason who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 8, after a long period of denial by his mother. He has few...more
I think this is a pretty good portrayal of how a high-functioning autistic boy would think and act. I have Asperger's Syndrome, so they say, and although I do better than Jason I can recognize a lot of my problems in him. The conflict with the story convention is well done and I thought the ending was perfect -- hopeful, and realistic. Very good story overall, and it just might make neurotypical readers a little more sympathetic and understanding towards people with autism.
Too sad, too much emphasis on Jason's challenges and not enough on his talents and accomplishments. I wonder if the author read memoirs like Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant and Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's. But then again, each person diagnosed with Asperger's or Autism is, first of all, a person - an individual, unique, with their own perspective, their own family, their own core personality traits - apart from their diagnosis.

And I have t...more
This book about a 12 year old boy living life with ASD touched home. As a mother of a 12 yr. old boy with ASD I couldn't help but see my son in the main character. Told from his perspective it allowed me to see the world through his eyes for the first time. All kids on the autism spectrum are different and face their own battles, some more challenging than others. Jason, the main character, has some extreme issues and battles that my son doesn't face. However, I can see similar traits. Every per...more
May 04, 2009 Cami rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: ya-fiction
Let's give this a good 4.5 stars.
I genuinely loved this book.
It is told from the perspective of a 12 yr old Autistic boy who loves writing stories and is trying to find his way in the world of Neurotypicals.
His voice rings true and I felt such an emotional connection with this character who, ironically, has a very difficult time connecting emotionally with anyone.
It's probably just because I'm a mother, but I had some weepy moments at the end here.
I would recommend this book to anyone.
Tessa Keeton
The book, "Anything But Typical" is a very inspirational book. It is about an Autistic boy named Jason. He lives in a world full of Neuro-Typicals. They don't understand him. He only has one true friend and he doesn't even know if he calls him his friend. At school, all he does is look forward to time on his favorite website.
The website allows you to write a story online. He is an amazing writer and everyone who reads his stories online would know that. He meets a girl online with the username...more
Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the story of Jason Blake, a 12 year old boy who lives in a house in Connecticut with his mother, father, and 9 year old brother. He likes computers and he is a writer.

And he's different, "special", a boy "with initials"-ASD (autism spectrum disorder), PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified). He is in "inclusion"-that is, he attends a general education school. He used to need a 1-to-1 aide to help him through the day but no...more
Marybeth Taylor
I've always wondered how an autistic person feels all the time. Do they think the same thoughts as we do? Have the same wants? What does it feel like to be autistic? These questions were a few of many. And after reading this book, Anything but Typical, it let me inside an autistic person's head for a short 195 pages, but it was unquestionably worth it.
Jason Blake is an autistic twelve-year-old trying to struggle through middle school. Naturally he has more troubles than your average student. E...more
I gave Anything But Typical as a gift to a friend who is a teacher. I thought she would enjoy a story told from the point of view of an autistic child as she minored in special education. The story line intrigued me so much I had to read Jason’s story for myself. I was impressed with Nora’s voice for a 12-yr old autistic child. I was drawn into his world & lingo instantly and, though the story had a satisfying ending, I was reluctant for it to end; Jason’s viewpoint was remarkable. I also fo...more
This book was very interesting and I liked the unique viewpoint, this made it worth reading simply because it was different and a new way to look at writing and the world. However, I can't say I liked it.

There were several missing words throughout the text, and while these might have been intentional for the story, most of these just glared at me as mistakes from a lazy editing job. I also didn't like the ending. The ending felt insufficient for all the concern and worry I felt for these charac...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for

Jason is different from other 6th-graders. He loves routine, hates noisy, overcrowded places, and constantly reminds himself to breathe.

He is obviously not like other NT's (neurotypicals), the so-called "normal" people in the world. The NT's say things, but nothing is ever behind the words. Jason doesn't understand why people talk and never mean what they say. This is why he doesn't look at anyone. Jason gets distracted by faces - the way they morph when...more
"Why do people want everyone to act just like they do? Talk like they do. Look like they do. Act like they do.
And if you don't—
If you don't, people make the assumption that you do not feel what they feel.
And then they make the assumption—
That you must not feel anything at all. "

— Jason Blake, Anything But Typical, P. 14

In my view, this is easily the greatest story delving into the mind of a kid whose mind operates differently than those of his peers since the acclaimed Joey Pigza Swa...more
Sue Larson
“Anything but Typical” is told from the point of view of 12-yr old Jason, who is different from other 6th-graders. This autistic boy loves routine, hates noisy places, and spends a lot of time wondering about NT's (neurotypicals), the so-called "normal" people in the world. Jason’s internal dialogue reveals his confusion with NT's: how they say things, but nothing is ever behind the words. Jason doesn't understand why people talk and never mean literally what they say.
Baskin gives an extraordin...more
Haley Mathiot
nything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin anything-but-typical
Rating: 4.5/5

My Summary: Jason is Autistic. Letters define his life, and he thinks in full complete sentences, no contractions, and perfect grammar. Every morning, a word pops into his head. He says it out loud while he brushes his teeth. He has been able to spell any word he has ever seen perfectly since the age of four, but he has no control over his body. When he gets stressed out, his hands start to fly away from his body, and...more
Jason Blake is a twelve-year-old boy with autism. This story takes place in the present, but he also goes back to show us the struggles that he has endured growing up. He knows that he is "different" but seems to accept this. The one place where he is comfortable is online, on a site called "Storyboard". There he posts stories that he writes. He also gives us many tips on writing fiction. On his favorite site, he meets a girl named Rebecca whom he feels a connection with. When he has a chance to...more
Lisa Nocita
"Showing? How do you show appreciation? Appreciation is an emotion. It's a feeling. You can't draw a picture of it. Why do people want everyone to act just like they do? Talk like they do? Look like they do? Act like they do? And if you don't-- If you don't, people make the assumption that you do not feel what they feel. And then they make the assumption-- That you must not feel anything at all." Jason is a twelve year-old boy with autism and the narrator of his story. His telling of the story g...more
Amina E.
Title: Anything But Typical
Author: Nora Raleigh Baskin
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Pages: 208 Pages

Summary: Jason Blake, the main character in this book, is autistic. He doesn't think how everyone else thinks. He doesn't act how everyone else acts. He doesn't speak how everyone else speaks. He isn't anything like-what he calls-the neuro-typicals or NT's. Jason doesn't fit in with his classmates, they think he is odd. It seems that Jason doesn't realize how his body moves. He doesn't control his "flap...more
Feb 05, 2010 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pick any random middle schooler on the street
Spectrum books are hot right now and this middle grade look at autism doesn't disappoint. I really liked the character of Jason. I found him approachable, engaging, and authentic. Trifecta. I was especially empressed with Baskin's explanation and approach to "NTs" vs Jason.

Basically, this was a refreshingly authentic look at what might be going on inside the head of a higher-functioning autistic middle school boy. The characters were genuine, the details (such as IEPs and OT strategies) were rea...more
Alana Chandler
October, 2012
Anything But Typical Book Review
Jason Blake is a 12-year old that is anything but typical, one of the reasons being his autism. Being autistic comes with problems like temper tantrums, being teased, and no one understanding what you really want. But Jason has a special talent that sets him above and beyond other tweens, his gift for writing. Writing takes him on adventures through words and lets him express his feelings without having to trip and stutter over his words...more
Jul 12, 2010 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon by: Anna and Bekah
I love it when one of my daughters recommends a book to me. Both my 10 year old and 8 year old read Anything But Typical and told me I should read it. Know this: they know how to pick books. This was a great read - touching, unique and thought-provoking.

Jason Blake is a 6th grader, but he's not your typical 6th grader. He has an Autism Spectrum Disorder so he thinks differently than neurotypicals (NTs) as he calls them. In some ways this book reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the...more
Apr 03, 2010 Madeleine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Madeleine by: destinee's goodreads
Shelves: kids-ya
Reading a YA/kid novel every Friday night might not be a bad way to occupy myself. It's nice to escape into a slightly simpler world after a long week of craziness.

Jason Blake, the narrator of Anything But Typical is a twelve-year-old boy who has autism. He loves writing fiction, and gets through the middle-school meanness by finding a community of other writers on a fiction website--including PhoenixBird, a girl :) I liked this book because there's such a stereotype of people with autism being...more
This is a charming and disarming book written in the voice of a 12 year old autistic boy. Jason writes wonderful stories on a website called Storyboard because that is the one place that he can make himself understood. The rest of the time, especially since he's been mainstreamed into the public school system, he can't make himself heard or understood by the "neurotypical" folks, even his family. A young girl also on Storyboard writes back to him with emails getting away from stories and more ju...more
I read this because a 5th grade boy returned it saying it was great. Boy, was he right! It's told in the first person by Jason, a 12-year-old boy who is a good writer and autistic. He tells us that up front, but it is in what Jason doesn't say that you begin to understand just how autistic he is. Jason tell us right away that he blinks his eyes, he flaps his hands, he is unnaturally quiet; but it is in the other things -- his mom telling him to stop when he doesn't even realize he is doing anyth...more
Abby Johnson
Twelve-year-old Jason has autism, so the world looks different to him. He doesn't really have any friends because most kids can't see past his disability. They think that if they can't understand you, you must not have anything to say and if you don't express your feelings like they do, you must not have any feelings. All that changes when he meets PhoenixBird on an online writing website. Emails from her are the highlight of Jason's day, but when he gets the chance to meet her at a conference,...more

This book is a very easy book that many people of different ages can relate to. Anything but Typical is about an autistic boy who is now having to face going to public school. It is already hard enough for many people who don’t have a disorder to go to school, now imagine having a disorder and being the new kid in school. Throughout the story Jason Blake (main character) finds his happiness on Storyboard, it is a website where you write stories and anybody else can read them. One day Jason finds...more
Ashley R.
Anything But Typical, by Nora Raleigh Baskin, is about a high-functioning autistic boy named Jason Blake. Jason faces a lot of challenges in his daily life, from bullies at school to his family members not always believing that he's capable of understanding things. His grandmother doesn't think he can comprehend anything and his mother will do anything and everything to make him feel normal. To help him cope and feel more like the typical twelve year old boy should, Jason writes stories and post...more
Misty Kincade
Literary Awards: Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School Book, An ALA Notable Children's Book for Older Readers, Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee, Cybils Awards Nominee for Middle Grade Fiction
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: MG (4-8)

Brief Summary:
Twelve-year-old Jason Blake has autism spectrum disorder. Jason prefers sticking to routine, highly dislikes noisy places, and tends to spend a lot of time thinking about neurotypicals; whom are who Jason considers “normal”...more
Tiffanie-ann Bucheit
This book is about a boy with autism. The book follows the thoughts of Jason and how he leads his life living on the autism spectrum disorder. The book is set up like you are inside Jason’s head; you are reading how he is thinking, feeling, and everything in between. When Jason meets a girl on his storyboard website you get to take a journey with him and how handles his relationship.

Remembering: Who were the main characters? - Jason, Jeremy, Mom and Dad, Phoenixbird (Rebecca)

Understanding: Expl...more
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Truth- I started writing seriously in 5th grade. I began with poetry. All I remember about my first poem, was that it had something to do with reincarnation. It was short but startlingly profound (so I thought). But what I remember most was my teacher’s reaction. She loved it. My life was changed. I had discovered the power of words.

By 6th grade I was writing short stories and keeping journals. I...more
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“Romance goes like this:
Boy gets girl.
Boy loses girl.
Boy gets girl again.
The end.
It can't be any other way.”
“All we are, all we can be, are the stories we tell," he says, and he is talking as if he is talking only to me. "Long after we are gone, our words will be all that is left, and who is to say what really happened or even what reality is? Our stories, our fiction, our words will be as close to truth as can be. And no one can take that away from you.” 19 likes
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