Reviews for Anything but Typical

AudioFile Reviews 2009 June/July
Jason Blake is a 12-year-old autistic boy who is trying to be understood in a "neurotypical" world. He tries to speak the NTs' language but finds they aren't good listeners. Nora Raleigh Baskin lets us see inside the mind of a bright young man struggling to be accepted for who he is. Tom Parks is the voice of this extraordinary preteen who is determined to tell his story in his own voice, but in the language neurotypicals speak and understand. Parks's delivery is concise, even as he communicates the stifled confusion that language presents to kids on the autism spectrum. He brings to life an inspiring new hero in a story greatly enhanced by its transition to audio. N.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 4-7--As if adolescence isn't difficult enough by itself, 12-year-old Jason Blake is not a "neurotypical" (NT), he's autistic and interprets the world differently from other children. As a result, kids at school make fun of him and no one seems to understand him, including his family. Writing stories is one of Jason's few escapes, the one place where he can really be himself. After Jason begins a tentative relationship with Rebecca (PhoenixBird) on Storyboard, an online writing forum, he struggles with the fear of meeting her in person. Simultaneously, he narrates his past, giving listeners a glimpse of what life is like growing up as an autistic child. Tom Parks gives a near perfect performance of this eye-opening novel (S & S, 2009) by Nora Raleigh Baskin told from Jason's viewpoint. Always using just the right tone, he liberates the story's apprehension and wit. Poignant and real, the novel's honesty will bring tears to listeners' eyes. Recommended to fans of the Joey Pigza series.--Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ

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