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Better Than Weird Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554693624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554693627
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This moving story looks at both family and school life from the point of view of a boy trying hard to fit into a world he doesn't quite understand...The details of school life are believable and familiar, and the ending leaves Aaron and readers waiting for a hopeful outcome...This companion book [to The Mealworm Diaries] stands alone but will surely send readers back to read the first." (Kirkus Reviews 2011-02-15)

[Starred review] "Aaron doesn't know his father at all. He is both excited and terrified by the impending reunion—and so are we...Kerz is brilliant at describing these challenges from Aaron's perspective, and she does so without a trace of sentimentality...It's a messy and far from perfect outcome for Aaron, but after spending some time with his own messy imperfections, we wouldn't have it any other way." (Quill & Quire 2011-03-01)

"The story moves quickly and for those who enjoyed the humour in The Mealworm Diaries, they will certainly enjoy this title...Would be a good addition to a young readers' fiction collection in both school and public libraries. Aaron Waite is a unique, well-formed character who, like Joey Pigza in Jack Gantos' Joey Series, captures our sympathy and we read on because we want him to succeed." (Resource Links 2011-02-01)

"A stand-alone sequel to Anna Kerz's excellent Mealworm Diaries. Aaron is a credible, well-rounded character, as are Gran, Tufan, Dad, and all of the other characters. Better Than Weird is simply told, yet rich with wonderful metaphors and believable surprises. Kerz's style makes this a story that will appeal to readers of all levels. Highly Recommended." (CM Magazine 2011-02-25)

"In a long line of recent books about kids with autism, Kerz's effort nevertheless shines, primarily because in Aaron she has created a kid who captures readers' complete interest as he struggles with his quirks and tries to be, as the title puts it, better than weird...Life's complications are delicately handled by Kerz, who weaves a multilayered tale...A heartwarming read for fans of realistic fiction." (Booklist 2011-04-01)

"With warmth and understanding, Kerz presents Aaron's brave, hopeful efforts to understand others, inviting us to sympathize with his uncertainties about 'reading' people and about learning how to manage his own enthusiasm appropriately." (Deirdre Baker ParentCentral.ca 2011-03-12)

"The plot moves at a good pace, interweaving the stories of Aaron waiting to meet his father that abandoned him, learning how to make and keep a friend, and resolving conflict with a bully...This is a good choice for someone who has some of the same issues as the protagonist or needs help understanding someone who does." (VOYA 2011-04-01)

"Kerz succeeds beautifully at crafting a convincing narrative centered on the life of a 12-year-old boy who cannot control his behavior...Aaron's voice is convincing as a child desperate to understand his surroundings. Supporting characters, from Aaron's father to his classmates, are also realistically portrayed." (School Library Journal 2011-05-01)

"The twists and turns in this short novel paint a compelling picture of the difficulties of growing up, and provide a unique perspective." (Canadian Teacher 2011-10-01)

"Kerz manages to create an endearing protagonist whom we want to succeed. By writing from Aaron's point of view, Kerz helps readers understand the daily struggles faced by a child who has always been teased, bullied and chosen last...We feel deeply for him. This is a story that all children who have struggled to fit in will appreciate and a tale that will perhaps garner empathy and understanding in those who know children like Aaron." (Canadian Children's Book News 2011-08-01)

"Kerz compassionately shares Aaron's struggles and joys while illustrating the different perceptions others have of him and how these perceptions impact his own views and responses." (CanLit for Little Canadians blog 2011-11-24)

"A good book, with some mystery and action...Interesting and easy to follow." (BookLinx 2012-01-30)

From the Back Cover

That's when he saw it. A shadow behind a car parked on the other side of the street. It disappeared, only to reappear through the window of the car ahead. The sight of it made him whimper, the sound catching in his throat as he took off again, running. This time he didn't stop until he reached the walkway to his house. Home, he thought. Home safe. But with his next step his foot landed on an icy patch. His arms rose instinctively, whirling, struggling for balance. It did no good. The ground below him vanished, and he fell. Pain, red as a fireball, exploded behind his eyes. He yelped. Behind him, the voice said, "Gotcha now." Aaron isn't like other kids. He sounds like a hyena when he laughs, and he can't sit still, but he has managed to make a couple of friends-and at least one enemy. Now he is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his father, whom he hasn't seen in eight years. But will his dad leave again because he thinks Aaron is too weird? Will the school bully beat him up? And will his dad ever be proud of him?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By jjbos on January 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had to read this book because it was one of my school's Reading Bowl books. However, it was a really good book.
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By Sasha on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this book 5 stars,it was amazing and wonderful!! I loved the details and I loved the Aaron's character. This book tells a story of a child who struggles to find who he really is and his voice. This book is for anyone because everyone will love it.
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By games on January 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a very interesting book. I loved it and read it to the end. it was Awesome.it got all stars on the rates
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By Ben W Jessup on September 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a good story to figure out that life is hard for some people who have problems in there life and family. I recommend this book for ages 9-12.
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