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Anything But Typical
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About the Author

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the ALA Schneider Family Book Award-winning author of Anything But Typical. She was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for her novel What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows, and has since written a number of novels for middle graders and teens, including The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah, The Summer Before Boys, and Ruby on the Outside. Nora lives with her family in Connecticut. Visit her at NoraBaskin.com.

Reviews

Baskin (All We Know of Love) steps into the mind of an autistic boy who, while struggling to deal with the "neurotypical" world, finds his voice through his writing ability. Though Jason initially seemed a prodigy, by third grade he had fallen behind academically, and his parents reluctantly had him tested ("A year later the only letters anybody cared about were ASD, NLD, and maybe ADD or ADHD, which I think my mom would have liked better. BLNT. Better luck next time"). Now in sixth grade, Jason still has behavioral difficulties, but is passionate about his writing and actively posts stories in an online forum. There he strikes up a friendship with (and develops a crush on) a fellow writer, though he becomes distraught when he discovers they will both be attending the same writing conference. The first-person narration gives dramatic voice to Jason's inner thoughts about his family and his own insecurities, even as he withholds details (usually about incidents at school) from readers. Jason's powerful and perceptive viewpoint should readily captivate readers and open eyes. Ages 10-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Gr 4-7-As if adolescence isn't difficult enough by itself, 12-year-old Jason Blake is not a "neurotypical" (NT), he's autistic and interprets the world differently from other children. As a result, kids at school make fun of him and no one seems to understand him, including his family. Writing stories is one of Jason's few escapes, the one place where he can really be himself. After Jason begins a tentative relationship with Rebecca (PhoenixBird) on Storyboard, an online writing forum, he struggles with the fear of meeting her in person. Simultaneously, he narrates his past, giving listeners a glimpse of what life is like growing up as an autistic child. Tom Parks gives a near perfect performance of this eye-opening novel (S & S, 2009) by Nora Raleigh Baskin told from Jason's viewpoint. Always using just the right tone, he liberates the story's apprehension and wit. Poignant and real, the novel's honesty will bring tears to listeners' eyes. Recommended to fans of the Joey Pigza series.-Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Baskin reveals not only the obstacles that Jason faces, but also his fierce determination to be himself at all costs. Jason is a believable and empathetic character in spite of his idiosyncrasies. Baskin also does a superb job of developing his parents and younger brother as real people with real problems, bravely traversing their lives with a differently abled child without a road map, but with a great deal of love."--"School Library Journal"
*"Baskin's delineation of an autistic boy's world is brilliant."--"Kirkus", starred review
"Should readily captivate readers and open eyes." -"Publishers Weekly"
* "Luminous....This is an enormously difficult subject, but Baskin, without dramatics or sentimentality, makes it universal."--"Booklist", starred review
"A children's book that's every bit as subtle and smart as the best adult novel."--"nytimes.com"

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