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Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical (2009)

by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 24 mentions

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Wonderful story about a boy who happens to be autistic. Such a beutifully complex character, he's just like us...he just sees the world in a different way. ( )
  Verkruissen | Nov 5, 2014 |
Anything But Typical is about a 12 year-old boy named Jason. Jason has autism. He starts middle school without a one-on-one aide, which leads to all kinds of difficult situations at school with teachers who don’t understand him and being bullied by other students. However, Jason makes it through everything just as long as he can keep writing and posting stories online. One of his followers, the enigmatic ”Phoenixbird”, is Jason’s only friend. They share stories, feedback, criticism, and also talk to each other about their real lives. Jason’s struggles with school, friendships, girls, family, and everyday life are pretty realistic portrayals of what the world is like for a boy with autism. The narrative is authentic and easy to read, and it really allows the reader to get inside Jason’s head. I would recommend Anything But Typical to any middle school reader, and high schoolers looking for a fiction book about autism. ( )
  ErlangerFactionless | Apr 5, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book, and I think that more books should have individuals with disabilities as protagonists. The first-person narration is essential for proper presentation of this subject, and it's very enlightening to step into shoes that may be vastly different from your own. Personally, I talk a lot, and I found myself struggling while reading this because I felt so much could be solved if Jason just said what he was thinking. His thoughts were always very astute. However, I know this wasn't a reasonable demand, and it just deepened my understanding of Jason's frustration with the world around him. Baskin is wonderful with words, and really tied each part together, from the primary plot to the premises of Jason and Rebecca's stories. I was most fond of the way time was depicted throughout, there is frequent jumping around between memories, reality, and dreams of past and future. Despite the potential for confusion, it was very easy to track and added lovely layers to the story.
  biarias | Mar 14, 2014 |
This is a great book about navigating the social land mines of middle school told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old autistic boy. Jason's narration gives us insight into the challenges of being different, being perplexed by social "norms," and having difficulty with communication. We learn that Jason has an active mind, loves his family, and wants to have friends, but with words that have a fairly flat, "just the facts" tone that one might expect from an autistic child. Our heart breaks when Jason has disappointments, and so does his. But his reasoned narration, courage, honesty, and objective point of view in some ways soothe us, the reader. I particularly appreciated the description of his sensory challenges - noise sensitivity, the need to keep a tight belt, the pain of scratchy clothing. His development of an on-line relationship had me reading with a sense of both happiness and foreboding. Reading how much he looked forward to simple notes from his new friend was so touching, and yet I wanted to protect him from anything that might happen to jeopardize it. I was also touched by Jason's observations of his parents' love, challenges, disappointments, and frustrations. This is a unique "coming of age in middle school" story that could not only help students learn about those who are different, but could also help them to think more consciously about their own challenges at that age. I have a seven-year-old autistic boy and I found this to be a great guide for preparing me what might be ahead for my son. It would be a good resource for parents.
  susan.mccourt | Feb 19, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nora Raleigh Baskinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromley, LizzyCover and book designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hancock, James GulliverCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Most people like to talk in their own language.
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Book description
Curriculum Connection:  AASL Std. 4 Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

4.1.3 Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres.

Personal Connection:  to help students understand how autistic children think and react.
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Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

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