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Colin Fischer Hardcover – November 1, 2012


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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: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Told partly through the pages of Colin's diary, the story moves along at a brisk pace and has a deft, compassionate touch.
Anna A. Stanford
Also, as a former educator I would recommend this book to teachers, parents and teens to help them understand the problems Asperger's children face.
Reading Robot
This book is a good one, and I enjoyed reading it and getting into Colin's head as well as watching the reactions of those around him.
Jenni French

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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on December 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Colin Fischer is just looking to get through high school. But one day someone brings a gun to school, and bully Wayne Connelly is blamed. Colin knows Wayne didn't do it, but that means he has to find the real culprit to prove Wayne's innocence. Colin may have trouble putting together a facial expression with what people are thinking and feeling, but he has other powers of perception.

I loved the format of COLIN FISCHER. There are excerpts from Colin's journal and lots of footnotes in addition to the third-person narration. Emotions are always mentioned in skinny capital letters. These bits of flair give insight into the way Colin thinks. He has Asperger's Syndrome, giving him a different point of view on what happened in the cafeteria than the rest of his classmates who are perfectly content to believe the disliked and low class Wayne Connelly did it.

There's a nice balance between Colin's school and home life and the mystery. COLIN FISCHER sets up a series, so there have to be some elements that will carry through future entries. There's a love interest, a new friendship, and Colin's fledgling basketball skills. He's also got a complicated relationship with his younger brother, who resents the fact that Colin isn't "normal." As for the mystery, I liked that Colin doesn't quite understand the danger he puts himself in. He just wants to solve the puzzle, but there are people who don't want the puzzle solved. It made a bit more sense than some protagonists who through themselves knowingly into danger.

I think COLIN FISCHER could be the start of a very fun mystery series. There's always room for more idiosyncratic, determined detectives, at least in my opinion.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Lynne Mitchell on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good sotry by a very good writer. It is very helpful in understanding the mind of an auspergers child. Would recommend it to teens and up.
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Format: Hardcover
Really, really enjoyed this book. As a former high school English teacher, there are not enough books that give young adult readers insight into the life experiences of those that process life differently. Loved reading Colin's narrative, and enjoyed the quirky humor provided by the authors. Looking forward to reading more of their work.
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By Victor jaimes on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the book was good and different from what i usually read, it was really entertaining and a lot of fun
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By mystery girl on May 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It could've used a little editing (grammatically) but it is absolutely great that this author captured the thinking and logic of an Aspie so well. The protagonist is, and deserves to be a hero. So does the author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Colin has Asperger's Syndrome. It gives him attention to details which is sometimes over whelming to the point he just has to bark like a dog. By keeping meticulous notes on everything, he sorts through his observations logically to determine that his worst enemy did not shoot the gun that was fired in the school cafeteria, even though everyone else is sure he did. Of course, everyone discounts Colin as a nuisance or weirdo who makes weird noises when he becomes over-stressed. It does not take much to over stress him. A ringing phone can cause him to scream if he is not prepared for it. Yet Colin fearlessly does everything in his power to show that the bully (for whom Colin is an easy daily target) does not deserve to be expelled for the gun incident. Colin’s “condition” gives him an exaggerated need for fair play and following the rules, even if that means saving the bully. Which he does, but he seems powerless to bring the true culprit to justice. I hope this seeming loose end is an indicator for a sequel. The novel interpretation that Colin gives things is quite entertaining and thought provoking. He isn’t wrong, or damaged, he is just different like Sherlock Holmes. This book is as interesting for its glimpse into the mind of an Aspergian as for its compelling story of school yard justice.
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