Anything But Typical
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Jason is 12 and on the autistic spectrum. The book is written from his own perspective, in the form of a series of observations, accounts and comments, as he tries to adjust to fit in with the ‘neurotypicals’ around him. To Jason, the world outside his home is a confusing and sometimes unpleasant place, full of noise, disorder, contradictions and daily challenges. He struggles to form friendships, the other students at school tending to ignore him or treat him with contempt, particularly the girls. His principal sanctuary is a computer station in the library, where he has joined a storywriting forum. It is through this website that he makes a friend in Rebecca.
Whilst is by no means an action-packed drama, this is a fascinating, funny and often moving insight into a young boy’s mind. As is the case with best books about disability, this is a book which succeeds in making one question one’s definition of ‘normal’. Jason’s disjointed narrative may jump constantly from one subject to another making it confusing for some young readers, but it is a style which successfully emulates his take on the world.