December 15, 2010

Anything but Typical - by Nora Raleigh Baskin

It's not easy being different, sometimes.  Nobody knows this better than sixth-grader Jason, who has been diagnosed with a number of fancy letters and terms, including the one that counts:  Autism.  Although this kid has some built-in problems with person-to-person communication and controlling his actions at times, it doesn't keep him from being awesome.  Jason is smart, funny, and an amazing writer.  Unfortunately, some people only see what's on the outside, and that is not good for Jason.  While lots of people make fun of him, including classmates and even his cousin (!), there are those who don't care about his differences, but appreciate him for who he is inside.

One of those people who appreciates Jason is a girl he met on a website for young writers, where he posts his fictional stories for his online friends to read.  This girl, PhoenixBird, seems to be the girl of his dreams, but when it turns out that he will actually get to MEET HER, Jason freaks.  What happens when they meet face to face?  Will Jason find a way to be cool with who he is, even when others judge him from what they see?  This book answers these questions and more in a funny, but thought-provoking manner.  It's a book that makes you reconsider what you thought you knew about those people who are, as the title suggests, anything but typical.

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