Simon & Schuster, 2009 ISBN: 1416963782
“Anything But Typical” is told in the voice of twelve-year-old autistic Jason Baxter who is high functioning in the areas of language, but who has difficulty verbally expressing himself. He is in the middle of a trial “inclusion” period in his schooling, where he no longer has his one-on-one aide to help him interpret what is happening around him, but must instead rely on what everyone has been trying to teach him about how to interact with people and how to deal with stresses.
In his corner are his father; his younger brother, Jeremy; Aaron Miller, a boy at school who is friendly toward him; and his English teacher. His mother does her best to accept who he is, but her stress always comes through, and makes Jason more anxious.
Jason’s real outlet is his creative writing, and he participates online in a writing community where he begins corresponding by email with a girl who likes his stories. However, the idea of meeting her is terrifying, and he must use all his resources to cope with the situation.
Well-written and interesting, this book should appeal to middle school readers.