Friday, January 8, 2010

Looking for Newbery - Anything But Typical

Today, I had originally planned on downloading either Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose or Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge to my brand-new Kindle, and then reviewing them here. Turns out Kindles have some limitations. Much to my chagrin, I couldn't find either of these picture books in the Kindle store. I was so excited to put them on my Kindle, and just read the words, since I know there is much discussion around the blogosphere that both of these books are beautifully written, and the beauty of the books doesn't rely on the illustrations or photographs. Oh well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. I have these books on reserve at the library, so I promise I will get to them before the Newbery awards are announced. The buzz about both books make them too good to be missed!

In the meantime, let me share with you another book that I read and loved this year -- Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. This is another book I discovered this summer and fell in love with. In my original post, I talked about how much I loved the increased awareness to non-neutotypical children this book might bring.

I currently have a group of seven students reading Anything But Typical and discussing it together in a book club. Their discussion yesterday made for fascinating listening. They had just finished the part where the main character, Jason, sees his online friend (who happens to be female) at a convention. The students understood the confidence he felt online when writing was totally different than what he would feel when someone would see him in person with his non-neurotypical behaviors. Their conversation showed great compassion for Jason's situation.

I was glad to see Anything But Typical mentioned on several mock Newbery lists. It is a wonderful book, and deserves the positive attention it seems to be getting.

Only 10 more days until the Newbery Awards are announced!!!

16 comments:

  1. I loved both Claudette Colvin and Marching for Freedom. I just wrote about on my blog two days ago. While the writing is amazing, you must not deprive yourself of the photos in Marching. They are perfect.

    Anything But Typical touched my heart. The committee has its work cut out for them.

    Brenda

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  2. I read Anything But Typical after you recommend it and I must say I'm glad I did. I have learned from it, and it has stayed with me for a long time.

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  3. It has been on my TBR stack, but keeps getting buried. Time to dig it out again!

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  4. I just checked out Anything but Typical to read. Can't wait.

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  5. I also can't wait to hear the Newbery and Caldecott picks. I haven't read Anything But Typical yet but look forward to checking it out. So many books to read!

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  6. Welcome to the Kindle! I really like my Kindle but I don't think a picture book would work...that wouldn't feel right.

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  7. Brenda,
    I hear the pictures are amazing. Still waiting for my copy from the library. Can't wait!

    Stella, Kristine, Heather, and maclibrary - I promise you won't be disappointed. Even if it's not Newbery, it does a fantastic job of raising the consciousness about students who aren't "typical".

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  8. I think I've been willfully avoiding this book when I've seen it come up without commentary on other lists - I have an autistic brother and books about autistic kids can sometimes hit a little too close to home. However, this post and reading your original review has convinced me I should at least pick it up from the library. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  9. Angela,
    I would love to hear your thoughts about this book if you do read it.

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  10. Oh, I just love Anything But Typical! I would love to see it get some attention :)

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  11. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm glad to see more and more books like this -- eager to read it but was waiting until mine was out (Mockingbird, this April) so I wouldn't be subconsciously influenced by any books on the same topic! Bill, the whole reason I wrote it was exactly what you described -- other kids having empathy for those dealing with life on the autism spectrum.

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  12. I think my middle school (girls) book club will be reading this book, too. They're in the process of choosing the books they/we will be reading this semester.

    I loved the book and thought it was relatable for both autistic young people and "neurotypicals."

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  13. I'm not ignoring all your great Newbery prediction posts, I'm just waiting to carve out a time to read them all in a chunk!

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  14. I absolutely loved "Anything But Typical". I gave a copy away at my reading challenge at school and I have a copy on my classroom shelves.

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  15. Sounds like an interesting book - I'll have to add it to my (every growing) list.

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  16. Anything But Typical is such a great book for a book group. It was fun to read plus, as you said, it allowed readers to understand a little better people whose brains function differently, and to see that they may be a little different, but they're not hugely different. Plain old shy kids have similar problems in meeting new people. :)

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