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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Colin Fischer Hardcover – November 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Colin Fischer, 14, has Asperger's syndrome. He is highly intelligent, but incapable of reading social cues and struggles to navigate everyday situations. When he enters high school, he faces bullies, class clowns, cliques, and a mystery: Who brought the gun to school that went off in the cafeteria? He soon becomes convinced that the bully, Wayne, who is temporarily suspended, is not guilty. As he works to exonerate Wayne, everyone wonders why he would help someone who dunked him in the toilet on the first day of school. For Colin, it is not a matter of helping the bully, but of making sure that the truth comes out. He eventually proves Wayne is innocent and in the process makes a new friend. Each chapter starts out with an excerpt from Colin's diary, giving facts about Asperger's, a clever device to avoid didactic writing. Colin's family interactions, including squabbles with his younger brother, who resents his sibling's special needs, render him sympathetic. Overall, this book succeeds in making Colin a believable character, deeply rooted in his disability, but always a person first.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MDα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The robotic nature of 14-year-old Colin’s severe Asperger’s syndrome has made him a bit of an outcast at school. He uses a set of flash cards to help identify people’s facial emotions. He keeps a journal filled with people’s reactions, so that he may better elicit them in the future. And he is unintentionally blunt. (To a friend he hasn’t seen for months: “Your breasts got bigger.”) It is precisely these qualities that make him the ideal witness to a shocking event: a gun going off in the middle of the cafeteria. With unparalleled powers of observation and deduction—Sherlock Holmes is his hero—Colin examines the facts until he is forced, by sheer logic, to come to the defense of the accused Wayne, a bully who has long tortured Colin. Miller and Stentz keep the page plenty busy, setting off each emotion that Colin identifies in a larger font (“MALICE,” “HESITATION”) and including handwritten scraps from Colin’s journal. Happily, they succeed where it counts the most—crafting the mechanical Colin into a sympathetic and dynamic character. Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Series: Colin Fischer (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595145788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595145789
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Life is math.
We know this because mathematics can reduce anything to a system of equations. Sometimes the solutions tell us things that seem "intuitively obvious." This means that we do not need math to figure them out. For example, the Parking Problem.
Some mathematicians at a university wanted to know how people could minimize the time it takes to find a parking spot and get into a store. Here is what they found: The optimal strategy is to take the first space you see and then walk.
When I told my father about this, he asked why it took mathematicians at a university to figure it out. I explained that while the conclusions seems intuitively obvious, it runs counter to standard human behavior. Most people will not take the first space the come across. Instead, the will seek out a better, theoretical spot that could be more convenient, incorrectly believing it will save them time.
I used to think people did this because they're bad at math, but actually it's because they're gamblers. They pass up good opportunities that are right in front of them in exchange for imagined improvements that almost never materialize. This is why I trust math and I do not trust people. Math makes better sense."

This is one of Colin Fisher's many observations in his Notebook, a catalog of facts, observations, and notations dating back to his pre-school days. Colin has been diagnosed with high-functioning Aspergers Syndrome and that translates to a variety of quirks which place him firmly on the outskirts of his school's social spectrum. He's bullied by some, ridiculed by others, ignored by most, and befriended by few, but Colin honestly doesn't care. He enjoys school and enjoys making observations of his peers even more. Even his main tormentor, Wayne Connelly, is worthy of consideration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By laughingwarlock on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Growing up with autism myself, I found this book friggin awesome. They really captured the mind of an asperger teen and presented and wrote a good story. However I have to take away a star because *spoiler alert* in the climax of the book Colin gets Sandy to confess despite the fact that he can't produce any hard evidence. I thought the evidence in the finale could have been a bit more concrete to make it a top notch mystery story
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Format: Hardcover
My friends gave me an autographed ARC of this book from the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. It was one of a pile and happened to be on top, and it looked interesting. When I realized it was a YA book I decided to give it a try to see if it was suitable for my kids. And I am so glad I did! Once I started it I was hooked and didn't stop till I finished in in a few hours. My kids may be a little young for it (10 & 9) now, but I would have devoured it at their age, so you never know.

It's a story described in the back blurb as a "young adult Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime with all the mind-bending crime solving of Encyclopedia Brown and the ageless humor of Josh Lieb's I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President". Fourteen-year-old Colin Fischer, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is a freshman in high school and learning to survive in a world he is uncomfortable in. He cannot stand to be touched, hates the color blue, and needs index cards to recognize people's facial expressions. He also loves Sherlock Holmes, and has an almost infallible memory. When during a birthday party in the school cafeteria a gun goes off, the bully who has given him the most trouble is blamed. But Colin realizes Wayne Connelly is innocent and sets out to prove it, following in the footsteps of his literary hero.

What follows is a fascinating journey seen through the eyes of an Asperger's mind. Told partly through the pages of Colin's diary, the story moves along at a brisk pace and has a deft, compassionate touch. I don't have any personal experience with anyone who has Asperger's, but this book definitely opens the reader's eyes to some of the daily trials that both the affected, their families, and the people around them go through. Highly recommended, and I am looking forward to the sequel(s)!
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By southernwriter on January 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I sense a series in the making. And we all know how young readers pine for more books about a character who solves mysteries while makes them laugh out loud.

Colin Fischer is just such a kid. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, the 14-year-old doesn't want to be touched, hates the color blue, and has a mind for mysteries, the kind he can research and work out to the most minute detail. His "precious, dog-eared Notebook... had seen better days, though it had been fastidiously cared for." In it, he records facts, friends, reactions. Each entry about a new discovery is often punctuated by the simple command: Investigate.

And investigate he does. When someone shoots off a gun at a birthday celebration in the school cafeteria, Colin carefully works out the mystery. The incident leads him--and a surprising friend--on an adventure.

But at its heart, the book makes you laugh. Told in clever notebook entries, footnotes (which could possibly be a distraction to kids, but added an additional layer of interest for this grown-up reader), as well as Colin's constant flash-card facial clues to help him read his classmates' emotional states-of-mind, the novel is kid-friendly and fun to read.

But of course, there are serious layers to this story. A possible budding romance. Bullying which doesn't end well for Colin. An exceptional boy who's mostly figured out how to cope. A gun in school. As Colin copes with things he never expected to tolerate, the novel challenges many of the stereotypes about autistic kids; it could well open an avenue for serious discussion.

My criticism? I wasn't fond of the way the parents were portrayed. I wished for August's dad in Wonder. I wanted more understanding, more humor, less wine-drinking and adult behavior.
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