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Anything But Typical [Kindle Edition]

Nora Raleigh Baskin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.

Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he's terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is.
By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy's struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Baskin writes in the voice of a high-functioning boy who identifies himself as having numerous disorders, most with labels that appear as alphabet soup. In the third grade, after yet another battery of tests, Jason receives the diagnosis of autism. Now in sixth grade, he relates how he does not fit in, even though he tries to follow the instructions of his therapists and helpers. He labels the rest of his classmates and teachers as neurotypicals, or NTs for short. While humor resonates throughout the book, the pathos of Jason's situation is never far from readers' consciousness. If only he could act on what he knows he needs to do, his life would be so much easier. Jason also shows himself to be a deep thinker and an excellent writer. Through his stories and thinly veiled fictional characters, 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.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Baskin tells this luminous story entirely from the point of view of Jason, an autistic boy who is a creative-writing whiz and deft explainer of literary devices, but markedly at a loss in social interactions with “neurotypicals” both at school and at home. He is most comfortable in an online writing forum called Storyboard, where his stories kindle an e-mail-based friendship with a girl. His excitement over having a real friend (and maybe even girlfriend) turns to terror when he learns that his parents want to take him on a trip to the Storyboard conference, where he’ll no doubt have to meet her in person. With stunning economy, Baskin describes Jason’s attempts to interpret body language and social expectations, revealing the extreme disconnect created by his internalization of the world around him. Despite his handicap, Jason moves through his failures and triumphs with the same depth of courage and confusion of any boy his age. His story, while neither particularly heartbreaking nor heartwarming, shows that the distinction between “normal” and “not normal” is whisper-thin but easily amplified to create the chasm between “different” and “defective.” This is an enormously difficult subject, but Baskin, without dramatics or sentimentality, makes it universal. As Jason explains, there’s really only one kind of plot: “Stuff happens. That’s it.” Grades 4-7. --Ian Chipman

Product Details

  • File Size: 1480 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B003YFJ12G
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Autism is certainly a popular subject right now. April 22, 2010
By Ulyyf
In addition to the number of books that purport to be written from an autistic perspective, there are a number of books with main characters who - if you know what you're looking at - are almost *certainly* autistic, but the word is never mentioned.

As a rule, this latter category of books tends to be better. I don't know why. Maybe it's because the focus is on the story rather than the message?

I read this book in one sitting at B&N. I didn't skip any passages, however, because I decided I didn't really care for it I don't have it at hand, so if I make a minor error of fact please just point it out to me and I'll fix it.

This book claims to be in the mind of an autistic boy. I say claims to be because, after reading the author's website and watching her video on the book, I am certain that the author is not, herself, on the spectrum. So what this book really is is a book about a NT trying to pretend to be realistically autistic enough to write a book from the perspective of an autistic boy. A daunting task to be sure, and I start to ask myself - why? Why aren't there more books by autistic authors? It's not that there are no autistic authors at all - off the top of my head I can count seven or eight, and I know there are many more. If anybody is qualified to say what life is like as an autistic individual, surely it's somebody who actually knows?

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "But if she wrote a good book, does it matter?"

And you're right. IF this book accurately catches the experience of being autistic, it doesn't matter that much who wrote it. Except I'm not convinced the author really "gets it". She has a video, as I said, about writing the book ([...]). Three things about this video really jump out at me.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really was anything but typical... October 20, 2009
Even for a typical kid, it can be hard getting by from one school day to the next. Hard to relate. Hard to figure out the right thing to do at the right moment. But Jason is anything but typical, and for him, every day is a battle to be the best version of himself he can be. He finds release and happiness in writing short stories and sharing them with an online friend from a creative writing website--but will his happiness last when he gets the chance to meet her in person where he can't hide behind his stories?
Anything But Typical is well-written, with a cast of great characters, all very believable and well-developed. Nora Raleigh Baskin's story is touching as well as important, and she brings it masterfully to life with excellent metaphors and descriptions, great pacing, and a wonderful first-person voice. The one drawback was a slight difficulty following the plot in a few moments; because the story is told from Jason's viewpoint, there are times when it was hard to tell whether what he was revealing was his daydreams or actual events.
This is one for the Newbery watch list.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL September 24, 2009
"When I write, I can be heard. And known.
"But nobody has to look at me. Nobody has to see me at all."

The Schneider Family Book Awards "honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for children and adolescent audiences...The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional."

Since its inception, several favorites of mine have gained award recognition from Schneider Family Book Award committees. THINGS NOT SEEN, TENDING TO GRACE, and UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG are books I've loved re-reading, reading aloud, and booktalking. All three are entertaining and enlightening in their portrayal of disability in a character, and I've been really excited to see each of them win this award.

"'Jason, this one is free,' the lady says. She puts her hands on my shoulders. This lady is a lady I should know, but her face looks like a lot of other faces I don't know so well, and I group them all together. Her face is pinched, but her eyes are big, round like circles. Her hair doesn't move, like it's stuck in a ball. She belongs in the library or the front office or my dentist's office.
"But she is here now, so I will assume she is the librarian.
"I know from experience that she is trying to help me, but it doesn't. I can feel her weight on my shoulders like metal cutting my body right off my head. This is not a good thing.
"I also know she wants me to look at her.
"Neurotypicals like it when you look them in the eye. It is supposed to mean you are listening, as if the reverse were true, which it is not: Just because you are not looking at someone does not mean you are not listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and authentic April 18, 2010
This is a young adult novel that was recommended to me by someone who, like me, has a child with autism. Baskin writes as authentically as a NT (neurotypical) can about life when you have autism. Her portrayals of both Jason, his parents and those around Jason (and their interactions with him) were very realistic. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a little insight into autism or just a well-written young adult novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on autism
Arrived quickly and I was able to read it before giving a presentation to 6th graders. Excellent book on autism.
Published 1 month ago by cliff andres
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good story.
Published 1 month ago by Patsy Trawick Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good as I expected
Published 2 months ago by Soo hyung Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing read
This book gives others a look into what it might be like inside the mind of a child who is different.
Published 3 months ago by David B. Hipple
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good teen read.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading
Our granddaughters are visiting us for 5 weeks. They live in another state. As a requirement for one of my granddaughters, who will be attending Shadduks of St. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Deborah
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
This book can reach out and touch anyone. Especially children with speak issues or shyness! It's an amazing book that's a must read.
Published 6 months ago by JuliaB900 add me
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever!
I am in 6th grade, and read this book. I loved it. I think that middle school and up will enjoy this book; I certainly did!
Published 6 months ago by Nora K. Zelizer
4.0 out of 5 stars Anything but Typical
It was slightly hard to comprehend. But it was cool to put my self in somebody else's shoes who has autism.
Published 7 months ago by Sophia C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, makes you smile, and gets you exited. AKA amazing!!!!!!!!
hi, I'm Jude. awesome book! I loved it! it was funny, it had cliffhangers, it was amazing! Anything But Typical is a fun read for all ages. Read more
Published 8 months ago by SimpleFishies
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