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Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Nora Raleigh Baskin

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1,0978418,410 (3.89)29
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.
Title:Anything But Typical
Authors:Nora Raleigh Baskin
Info:Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (2010), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Autism, self esteem, Middle grade, fitting in

Work Information

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2009)

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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Mock Newbery 2010

I really loved what Baskin did with the first-person narration in this book. The main character and narrator, an autistic boy named Jason, tells us his head is flying off of his body and his mother is saying, "Stop doing that to your hair," but we don't know that he's doing anything to his hair, which subtly conveys what Jason is and isn't aware of when he's having a panic attack. This book is full of stuff like that. One of my favorite things about reading is the chance to live in someone else's head, and this book definitely has that going on. Also, I am a sucker for a well-meaning, but unreliable narrator.

Another thing I liked about this book was that Jason is a writer. Baskin does this very meta thing where Jason talks about some of the basic rules of writing (e.g. how to use irony) and then something happens in his story where that rule is either conveyed or broken. That kind of thing could come off as overly didactic, but it doesn't, because it seems intentional on Jason's part; it's one of the tricks he uses to tell his story (not something the author is sticking in to teach us something).

There are heartbreaking moments in this book, but it's not a total downer. And at just under 200 pages, it's a quick, fascinating read. If I taught 6th or 7th grade language arts, this it something I'd put in my curriculum. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
I really loved this book. I wish that I had it to read it when my brother, who is autistic. Jason Blake is a twelve year old, intelligent, a creative writer and unsure of himself. I even liked the book for the many writing tips that Jason offered in his narrative. Not wanting to look people in the eyes because it gives too much information to process is something that my brother and Jason share. I remember too that my brother and Jason have a tendency to wear belts too tight. Rocking and flapping hands are very common, especially with younger children with autism.

One of the biggest problems is feeling accepted and bullies can definitey cause great distress! I always that my brother was struggling in our mostly neurotypical world. My heart went out for Jason and I immediately knew why he was relieved with his girl friend was blind. Rebecca, definitely would not be looking directly into his. It is bad that her voice in the e-mails was changed when she met him in person. Friendships can be difficult to develop when you are neurotypical but much worse for neuro diverse people.

I really got engaged in this book and wish that the author would continue with Jason Blake as an older person. It would interesting to read about him as a teenager. I would also welcome a book about an autistic person at a much older age!

I highly recommend this book. ( )
  Carolee888 | Mar 26, 2023 |
Jason is twelve and he is autistic. He writes this story as well as he can so that non-autistic people, neurotypicals, can understand it. It's interesting to see what it is like for Jason to be autistic, but it's just as interesting to read all the true statements he makes about neurotypicals that a lot of people never really talk about. Like how most neurotypicals seem to have a lot of trouble listening and saying what they mean - and why do neurotypicals say so much without meaning anything? Jason is smart and funny, and he's brave enough to mention a lot of the bull**** that people don't usually talk about. ( )
  kamlibrarian | Dec 23, 2022 |
Jason, a sixth-grade boy with autism, feels he can be himself when he writes. He describes his feelings, thoughts, interactions, and challenges. Wonderful and frightening things happen when he posts his stories on Storyboard.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
This was a different book and occasionally I was confused if Jason the speaker was talking in the present or in the past. The book was very interesting and make me wonder if it was based on a true story and if that was really the way this particular boy with Autism thought. The author did a really great job of catching the human stream of consciousness and I was really able to catch the speaker's angst. Thankfully, there wasn't a fix all ending (which would have irritated the hell out of me), but instead the ending left you feeling hopeful for the speaker and maybe even for the other people out there who might be a little different. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nora Raleigh Baskinprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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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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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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