How to Befriend a Butterfly 06/08/20
Trueman Bradley - Aspie Detective
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley
A young man heads to New York with ambitions of becoming a private detective. Modelling himself on his hero (a comic book private eye), Trueman Bradley sets up an office and opens for business, only to find the Big Apple is rather less hospitable than he had pictured. Plus, nobody seems to take his abilities as an aspiring detective the least bit seriously.
Trueman has Aspergers Syndrome, which results in a succession of confusing and confrontational encounters, as he tries to make sense of the constant stream of idioms and social niceties. People in turn struggle to understand his unconventional behaviour, their reactions often impatient and aggressive. In fact, it is the Aspergers mind which is Trueman’s most powerful asset as a detective and which enables him to develop ingenious crime-solving equations. With the help of his new friend Nora (a female detective), Trueman proves he can outwit any criminal mind.
Although not specifically written for children, the book boasts a very simple (indeed almost comic book) style, making it extremely accessible for young audiences. Its author is very open about its aim of ‘educating’ the reader about Aspergers Syndrome (Maxim Russell’s own brother has Aspergers) and every page illustrates just how alien the world can seem. Alongside enjoying what is an entertaining fantasty adventure, one is left feeling painfully aware of the complexities of human behaviour and the potentially bewildering and often totally illogical nature of our everyday language.