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An Unusual Boy

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  5,921 ratings  ·  377 reviews
Meet Jackson - a very unusual boy in a world that prefers 'normal'...

Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate a
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Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by Boldwood Books
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,921 ratings  ·  377 reviews


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Liz
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Jackson is an eleven year old Neurodiverse boy. He doesn’t have an easy diagnosis that folks can hang their hat on. His mom, Julia, has got two other kids, one having her first boyfriend, a husband that travels and a difficult mother-in-law. Oh, and a job and a house that needs renovation. I would have run away and joined the circus. And that’s before the incident at the heart of the story.
Jackson and Julia alternate as narrators. This works perfectly as we know what happened but still witness
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Carolyn
Eleven year old Jackson Curtis is indeed an unusual boy. He has a phenomenal memory but thinks in a literal and linear way, often having trouble finding the words he needs to communicate. Labelled as 'neurodiverse' by the doctors who can’t quite diagnose his condition, he has trouble making friends and often has meltdowns when life gets too much for him. His mother Julia is a good and patient mother who finds parenting Jackson challenging and exhausting, particularly as she has also two other ch ...more
DeAnn
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
4.5 open your heart stars

This one was terrific, and a surprise read for me! I haven’t read anything else by this Australian author, but this is her fifth book. I found her writing style so easy to read and I was completely drawn into this story and these characters. It was fun to have some Australian words thrown in that I had to go look up!

There’s a mom, Julia, that I could so relate to with a husband who travels a lot and three busy kids along with a house to organize. Her teen daughter Milla
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Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)
⭐️5 Stars⭐️
'Normal doesn’t exit darling, it's just a cycle on the washing machine'

An Unusual Boy by author Fiona Higgins is a story that is beautifully and sensitively written, I could not put this book down!

I absolutely fell in love with the character of this extraordinary little boy Jackson who has an unique perception of the world. Jackson is different to other children and for mum Julia Curtis it is a daily challenge living with his neurodiversity but she loves him dearly and so does his si
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Dem
May 27, 2021 rated it liked it


There was much about An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins that I loved and much that had me rolling my eyes in frustration.

An Unusual Boy is the story of an ordinary family, a story of love and forgiveness and the challenges that faces parents of children who are different to their sisters, brothers and classmates, Julia’s eleven year old son is an extraordinary child but when he becomes involved in a serious incident at school, Julias life is turned upside down.

The first few chapters of this nove
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Brenda
Eleven-year-old Jackson Curtis loved his parents, Julia and Alan, and sisters, nine-year-old Ruby and fourteen-year-old Milla. But Jackson was different – neurodiverse was as much as the doctors could say – with a phenomenal memory, a stress level higher than most and a penchant for finding himself in trouble, even though it was always an accident. His headstands helped him when the beans in his head came and some coping measures his doctor had worked on, also helped.

With his new friend Digby fr
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Lisa
Mar 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
An unusual boy that’s what Jackson Curtis is he suffers from Neuro Diversion which means he hasn’t got a diagnosis, he has trouble communicating with people & his mother Juliatwo other children to look after as well plus Andy her husband is always away on business.


Mills is experiencing her first boyfriend & Ruby loves to dress up, but finally Jackson has made a friend Digby at school he goes to the School toilets & what happened made me gasp… Digby told Jackson to keep his mouth shut even though
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Dash fan
5☆ A Thought Provoking, Poignant and Unforgettable Read!

An Unusual Boy is a story that not only got under my skin, it was poignant, thought provoking, a roller coaster of emotion and quiet frankly an unforgettable read!

This is the first time when writing a review I'm stumped at what to write....and believe me it's nothing to do with anything wrong it's because this book was so brilliant I don't know where to start. But what I do know is that you need to read this book for yourself!!

I adore readi
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Marianne
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
“Every morning when I wake up, my beans are flying around inside me like popcorn in a pot. They bounce me out of bed and make me want to jump and dance and do a hundred push-ups, even when the rest of the world is sleeping.”

An Unusual Boy is the fourth novel by Australian author, Fiona Higgins. Eleven-year-old Jackson Curtis is a very special boy. He’s also a challenge for his family, but they love him and they’re (mostly) patient with all the tics, quirks, habits, and the routines that seem to
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Veronica ⭐️
An Unusual Boy is a heart-wrenching story about a family struggling to keep from falling apart.
Julia is trying to run her family of five single handedly since her husband is overseas with work a large amount of the time. This can be stressful on a marriage at the best of times without the added burden of a child with a neurological problem.

I have to admit I was scared to read this book but I was also scared not to read it. We have our own unusual boy and although he is only four I worry about th
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Kylie H
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jackson is an 11 year old boy with a neurodiverse disorder, but not a 'label' that neatly explains his behaviour. Julia is Jackson's mum, she is also mother of Milla who is 14 and Ruby who is 9. For Julia life is hard, her husband Andy has let work take him away more and more and this seems to align itself with his intolerance of Jackson's behaviour. Having moved to a newer and more socially acceptable suburb of Sydney (Andy's choice), Julia is struggling to make new friends and deal with her ev ...more
Barbara Schultz
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4++ Stars!!! Rounded up ~ I give very few 5 star ratings!!!
Story is told from the POV of Jackson and Julia his mother.
Eleven year old Jackson Curtis is the middle child with a fourteen-year old older sister Milla and Ruby a nine-year old younger sister. He has a special love for his grandparents ~living and dead. He talks to his dead maternal grandparents via his shoe phone. Hmmm
Jackson is described as an unusual boy. He has an amazing memory yet has difficulties in expressing the correct wor
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Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews
*www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com
*www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr

**4.5 stars**

An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins. (2020).

An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Julia is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her only son, Jackson, is different; different to his sisters, different to his classmates, different to everyone. Bringing up a child who is different isn't easy. Then
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Suzanne
This book had it all. The perfect description of a harried mother, in the perfect description of the not so perfect life. Real life was portrayed here, important social issues such as mental health, appropriate internet usage for children, alcoholism, grooming of children by paedophiles, single parenting.

Jackson is one of three of the Curtis offspring in a close and loving family who live in the northern beaches of Sydney. I love reading about areas I’ve been to.

All the children are very accept
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Sally Hepworth
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An Unusual Boy is the gripping tale of an exceptional, misunderstood child.It highlights the dark underworld of the internet and the way our systems are set up to serve our least vulnerable members, rather than our most. I found myself glued to this book from start to finish. While reading it, you can’t help but become Jackson’s mother, and the mother of every child who is misunderstood in our society. This book will get people talking for sure.
ReadAlongWithSue
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wanted to carry on reading this book but things got in the way last September with over commitments so I picked this book book a couple of days ago and finished it in a flash. Such a well written book with a subject matter that really keeps your attention, not only that, you’re emotions are going to be wrecked. I kid you not when I say how all over the place I was with my feelings.

I’m with the majority, it’s a book you shouldn’t miss.
Louise Wilson
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Julia Curtis is a mother of three. Her husband often works away from home. Her mother-in-law is always present. Her fourteen year old daughter has fallen in love for the first time and her youngest, Ruby is just nine. But her son, eleven year old Jackson is different. Bringing Jackson up isn't always easy. On Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson but for the whole family.

Despite this book having some
...more
John Gilbert
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wowzers! What a great read. Full on and enjoyable at the same time.

A bit slow starting, but Jackson is an unusual and amazing boy. The narrative switches back and forth from Jackson to his Mum Julia. Jackson is 11 and has an older and younger sister and a dad who is away for work heaps.

The crux of the story is regarding an alledged incident in a school toilet and the entire family is thrown into severe crisis mode, especially Julia. Having spent 50 years of my life working with children and youn
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Jennifer (JC-S)
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘We’re not a normal family, are we?’

Meet Julia Curtis. Her husband Andy is often overseas for work, so most of the parenting of their three children falls on Julia’s shoulders. Five months ago, they moved from Erskineville to Queenscliff, to a house that needs doing up. Milla is fourteen, Jackson is eleven and Ruby is nine.

Jackson sees the world quite differently from his sisters and although he’s been described as ‘neurodiverse’ he does not have a definitive diagnosis.

The story shifts between
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com

‘Over the years, I’ve come to accept that Jackson’s inner life is largely impenetrable to me. It’s a common reality, I’m told, for parents living with ‘neurodiversity’ – a catch-all term used to describe children who don’t conform to convenient diagnostic categories.’

Dedicated to a friend from school, Fiona Higgins draws on this friendship to support her latest novel, An Unusual Boy. Heartfelt, personal and stimulating, An Unusual Boy is a compelling domesti
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Claire
I went into this novel not knowing much about it and found that it was a fabulous read, I do like it when you stumble upon a great and original read. It was a novel full of heart, of differences, of family and friends, a story with a warning about online gaming and lack of supervision of our children.

This is a novel about an atypical 'neurodiverse' 11-year old boy, Jackson, and his atypical family and an incident that turns their lives upside down. I found it hard to put this down. My heart was
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Marianne
Dec 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Every morning when I wake up, my beans are flying around inside me like popcorn in a pot. They bounce me out of bed and make me want to jump and dance and do a hundred push-ups, even when the rest of the world is sleeping.”

An Unusual Boy is the fourth novel by Australian author, Fiona Higgins. The audio version is narrated by Melle Stewart. Eleven-year-old Jackson Curtis is a very special boy. He’s also a challenge for his family, but they love him and they’re (mostly) patient with all the tics
...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
How have I never heard of Fiona Higgins before!? Such a brilliant storyteller. This story tore my heart out and stomped all over it. Such an emotional story. It is told from two points of view Jackson and his mother, Jules. This was a fantastic read. Not necessarily the subject matter but the writing and storyline itself. I found myself still reading till the middle of the night. This book made me appreciate how good I had it with my boys.

As a mother I could feel the panic, worry and pain that J
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Louise Wilson
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Curtis is a mother of three. Her husband often works away from home. Her mother-in-law is always present. Her fourteen yewr old daughter, Milla has fallen in love for the first time and her youngest, Ruby is nine. But her son, eleven year old Jackson is different. Bringing Jackson up isn't always easy. On Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend, Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson but for the whole family.

Despite this book hav
...more
Carly Findlay
Nov 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking, beautifully layered and sensitively written, Fiona Higgins’ An Unusual Boy is a gripping and fascinating tale about family, relationships and the power of love I am still thinking about weeks after reading the book.

Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three whose days are spent juggling a million and one things whilst trying to remain calm, composed and serene – a feat which is becoming increasingly difficult with every passing day. With her husband frequently away on business, it
...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
‘Everyone’s unusual. Just you remember that. No one’s bloody normal.’

Unfolding from the alternate perspectives of music therapist, Julia Curtis, and her son, eleven-year-old Jackson, An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins is an emotive family drama about an atypical child and his typical family.

Both a source of joy and frustration for his parents and siblings, 9-year-old Ruby and 14-year-old Milla, Jackson is smart, honest, and sweet but also has several behavioural tics, and difficulties with the nua
...more
M T
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and Boldwood books for my copy.

Fiona Higgins is a new author to me but her style of writing captivated me from the off. This is a beautifully written book about a family raising a neurodiverse boy Jackson.

Jackson spends a lot of time in the handstand position to quell the beans inside him. He has started at a new school and is struggling to make friends because of his strange quirks. He is invited on a playdate by Digby from his soccer team, Digby is allowed unlimited screen
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Katherine Hayward Pérez
I am not a mother yet but I found this tender, heart-wrenching and harrowing. I do have experience of being seen as "different" by others because of my multiple disabilities, glasses and wheelchair.

Struggles at school are what I experienced too and this novel resonated with me. I could sympathise and empathise with the day-to-day extra struggle that it is to live with different abilities but also life's beautiful moments.

I felt like I was living with the family, this book was so immersive. I a
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Cheryl
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘It’s not hard for me to remember,’ says Jackson. ‘I’m a memory magnet.’

What a beautifully written story this is! As the mother of a child with Aspergers (long before this syndrome was given a name) and of a grandchild on the spectrum, this book stole my heart as I was reading it.

Jackson is a fifth grade boy in Australia that is considered "unusual" because of undiagnosed neurodiversity issues. His mother Julia is trying to cope with Jackson's issues (including a disregard of activities that mig
...more
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Fiona Higgins is the author of four novels - An Unusual Boy, Fearless, Wife on the Run and The Mothers’ Group - and a memoir, Love in the Age of Drought. She writes predominantly about contemporary life, with a special interest in intimate relationships, families and the complexities of parenting in the digital age. Her novels have been translated internationally, including in the Netherlands, Fra ...more

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“Normal doesn’t exist, darling,’ says Pamela. ‘It’s just a cycle on the washing machine.” 0 likes
“wish me a happy Mother’s Day. It was almost like being in the same room!’ I try not to feel wounded by the fact that Andy purchased such a thoughtful gift for Pamela, but not for me. She is his mother, I remind myself. ‘Milla, could you help me set up email and Facebook?’ Pamela asks. ‘You’ll be so much” 0 likes
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