Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jason Blake’s life is made up of words and acronyms. The NT’s (Neurotypicals) in his life don’t understand him and find it hard to communicate with him. He is in SPED (special education) because he has ASD (autistic spectrum disorder.) Or possibly NLD (nonverbal learning disorder,) or even PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder – non-specific.) All Jason really knows is that he does not fit into the typical world. He does not look you in the eye when you talk to him; his hands and fingers flap at the end of his wrists; and it seems it is always too noisy around him. The one thing Jason does well is control words – writing stories. When Jason writes he can make sense of his world and be who he is on the inside. His writing attracts the attention of Rebecca, a girl from another town and state who reads his stories on the internet. But when the time comes for him to meet Rebecca, will she be able to see past his outside to find what is inside Jason?
As I read this book all I could think about was whether it would touch children who read it like the author intended. Truthfully, I have to wonder if children – be they tweens or teens - would really enjoy it. I think the subject matter is one they would have hard time understanding or empathizing with. While there are some children who have a fuller understanding of the world, very few would be able to truly comprehend the troubles in Jason's world. And while I enjoyed it, at times I found it a little dry and boring. While on a reading level of 12 yrs. or older, I would recommend it only to adults, especially those who deal with the problem of autism on a regular basis.
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