Sunday, June 10, 2012

Anything But Typical

I read this book because it's on the middle school summer reading list.  I can see why it's recommended, but honestly I had a lot of problems with the voice.

The story is supposed to be told by a 12 year old who struggles with autism.  But the voice seems more like that of an adult... maybe even a therapist.  Jason not only understands the inner workings of his non-neurotypical mind, but how other people see and experience him.  I find this really frustrating.  Even the most advanced 12 year old would have trouble understanding how other people experience the world differently than they do.

The general story is creative and slightly cheesy.  He writes stories that parallel his experience as atypical.  The end is saccharine.

The biggest problem I have is that the kids who read this story are going to expect that children who are "different" understand themselves and how they affect other people.  Most adults struggle with this.  I think it sets kids up for a very difficult situation next time they meet someone who thinks differently than they do.

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