Shannon's Reviews > Anything But Typical

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
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's review
Jul 12, 2010

really liked it
Recommended to Shannon by: Anna and Bekah
Read from July 11 to 12, 2010

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 Night-time, but I actually found Jason more easy to relate to than Haddon's main character. This was probably because Jason's condition makes him focus on words, letters and their meaning or lack of meaning - something I can relate to more easily than seeing patterns in everything.

An interesting commonality between the two books: in each one, the mother has a more difficult time accepting her son's condition. Do mothers internalize our children's problems more acutely than fathers? Or is this mere fictional coincidence?

Over the course of this book, Jason meets a friend online at Storyboard - a website that allows members to post their original short stories. This friendship elicits many emotions from him - none of them easy for him to express. He wavers between hope, fear and despair and as the reader I was right there with him. I wanted it to go well, but feared that it wouldn't.

This book is a very quick read - an afternoon alone will get you through it with ease. But the content will stay with you. Maybe, like me, it will leave you wondering whether you're more like Jason or a "normal" person. Because I have to admit that I often feel "anything but typical."

If you're in the mood for a quick read, a book that puts you in someone else's shoes and/or a book you can share with your young reader, I highly recommend Anything But Typical.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Lois (last edited Jul 14, 2010 06:38AM) (new) - added it

Lois Funny that you should post this today, as I just ordered The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from PaperbackSwap. I have been meaning to read it since you and several others spoke so much about it when we started our book club.

You know, I think that mothers DO internalize their children's problems a lot. I know I do. When Max gets in trouble at school, when he struggles to get along with his sister, I always ask: "What have I done wrong?" If it turns out that he has ADHD or something, I am already worried what I did to cause it. I guess since I grew him in my body, I feel like he is part of me, and therefore his issues are my issues, his problems my problems. Also, having spoken to several mothers whose sons are autistic, they were very resistant to the diagnosis. They didn't want to believe that THEIR child could be "abnormal." So I think you might be on to something there and it is not just a fiction thing. :)

Shannon Hmmm. I might need to write a blog post about this...

Interested to hear what you think of the curious incident. You should follow it up with this one since it's such a quick read.

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