Anything But Typical By Nora Raleigh Baskin
character-development, characters-with-disabilities, class-book-group-book, empathy, inference, intermediate-kids-book, point-of-view, theme, vocabulary, writing-connections
This book touched me. Baskin did a wonderful job telling this story from Jason Blake's point of view. Jason is a twelve-year-old autistic boy who knows he is not a neurotypical kid. He knows other people view him as weird, unusual, and odd. He has stopped doing things he's loved because of being rejected. Through writing on Storyboard, an interactive writing site, he meets Rebecca who seems to understand him. They end up meeting at a Storyboard conference in Texas, and things don't go quite as he expected. This is a story of the struggle to accept oneself, as well as a story of a family (the character of Jeremy, his little brother, is expertly written) struggling to understand their autistic son, and a story of writing and its power to make sense of the world. I look forward to using it in my empathy unit. I think kids will need a little support in understanding autism and the point of view since it will take some inferring to capture all the nuances. It's a very complex text, but I think a little more accessible for the age students I teach for independent reading than Mockingbird. Good ladder to Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison if you teach high school.
|animals, picture-book, science, theme|
Verdi by Janell Cannon
Gorgeous pictures accompany this amusing story of a young, yellow striped snake who doesn't want to become big and green like the adult snakes in his life. They just hang around, boring and dull. Alas, he DOES grow up to be big and green, but hangs on to his adventurous side.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
|anti-bullying, character-development, character-motivation, character-traits, classroom-read-aloud, empathy, inference, intermediate-kids-book, theme|