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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 ·  1,221 ratings  ·  183 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 f
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Crown (first published January 15th 2013)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,221 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Diane Yannick
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Marie Carlino
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Janaki Kuruppu
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the way Robison tells a story, this time about raising his son.
Brandy Nightingale
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Te De
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was boring. When BOTH parents are autistic and the child is autistic, I kind of expected some unique insight, but this was nothing but anecdote after anecdote about a self-satisfied dad who tells stories no one really cares about. I kept listening to see if it got better, it didn't. The tone is the same from beginning to end. I had this playing in the background while making dinner and housecleaning and it was still boring. Like more boring than having the TV on, and that usually isn't the ...more
Elaine Tucker
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison. I enjoyed reading this book about Asperger's and Autism. Cubby is the son of John and his mother, Little Bear. All had some degree of Asperger's syndrome. John and Cubby went on many adventures together, many children do this, but John bought shares in the companies that they visited, not just for future income. With owning shares they were often allowed access to places most children would not be able to go on site.
Cubby was able to drive a locomotive with t
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
As the parent of an adult with special needs, this book was very interesting to see how generationally the trait of asperger's/autism can affect families. While following the journey of the author and his son I thought it was very interesting in the "out of the box" ways he helped his son pursue his interests. I LOVED the idea of buying stock in companies that interested his son as a way to gain access to see their facilities and learn more. Wish I had thought of it!! The story does get bogged d ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I got this book as a second thought - I already had a couple in my hands at the time. I'm sure glad I grabbed it though!

Mr Robison does a great job in describing raising his son, lovingly nicknamed Cubby, who has Asperger's Syndrome (eventually diagnosed) and what it was like realizing that he also was Aspergian. This book pulled me in right from the start and didn't let go until long after I finished reading it. A highly recommended read for anyone & everyone.
Laura Cushing
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting non fiction read about an autistic parent raising an autistic son. The father does not get his diagnosis until adulthood, and the sons comes about as a result of legal trouble from his special interest in chemistry.

As a person on the spectrum diagnosed i n adulthood who raised three children, I related a lot to this book. I have read other books by the author and will continue to read his stories in the future.
Melissa Coffield
Once again I am absolutely impressed by John Elder Robison. I have learned more about Autism from "Raising Cubby" and "Look Me in the Eye" than several "manual" type books put together.
Raising Cubby is engaging, funny, and interesting. John Elder's writing style is superb. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read and especially for those with an interest in Autism. Happy reading everyone! This book is worth every penny!
Linda Krasnow
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maybe even a 4 1/2. It earned the 1/2 from "Closing the Circle", the very last section of the book. Raising Cubby seems to be so sincere and honest. I don't think many people have the bravery to admit to the shortcomings of their personality and actions as John Elder Robison. Besides the huge difficulties that Asperger brings there are also less visible rewards. I was very impressed with this recounting of a remarkable family!
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit choppy but very entertaining, moving and instructive. A good dose of his perspectives.
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story of a boy who has Asperger's and his father who was diagnosed with it at age 40.
Ashley Gottier
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting insights into the world of someone with Asperger's.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was just not my cup of tea. I read it for my book club and I thought it was a very slow read. I really had to push myself just to finish it.
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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