Thursday, July 9, 2009

Anything but Typical

Nora Baskin's Anything but Typical is just what the title states...anything but typical. The story is told by the protagonist, Jason Blake, a 12 year old autistic boy. Through his words Jason shares his thoughts, feelings, and emotions. He gives the reader a glimpse of his world as he describes excitement, anxiety, love, frustration, embarrassment and so much more.

The jest of the storyline is that Jason is an excellent communicator when it comes to writing stories. He often posts his work on a storyboard computer site. As a part of these postings, he connects with another writer from a different state. As part of a reward for not getting sent home from school for behavior, Jason's mother takes him to the storyboard convention where he will have the opportunity to meet his distant friend. Of course this is easier said than done because she is NT (neurological typical) and he is anything but typical. Ultimately Jason learns to except who he is..., "This is who I am. This is me."

I believe that Baskin did an excellent job of sharing Jason's thoughts with the reader. This book had some strong intertextual connections to Terry Trueman's Stuck in Neutral and Cynthia Lord's Rules...two other books that I enjoyed.

I highly recommend this book for upper elementary.

Keep reading,
Dr. Quinn

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