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"A smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes in 1999 than in 1984."
Summary: Temple Grandin is autistic. She is also a world-renown expert on the humane treatment of animals. In this biography, we learn about the impact of being different through the various stages of her life and how the way she sees the world has led to personal triumph and a better world. This illustrated nonfiction chapter book offers a story of perseverence, acceptance, and universal truths.
Type of Reading: independent reading, illustrated chapter
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This biography is eye opening and definitely does Autism justice. As someone who never truly understood the extent of the disorder or what it is like to be Autistic, I gained understanding. One of the aspects I really enjoyed is that it put to rest some of the common misconceptions of Autism. It showed that those with Autism truly are no different than others, they just think and perceive the world differently. I would rather rent this book from the library then purchase it myself. This is a book that I would truly recommend for anyone, as it would be wonderful for more people to have a greater understanding of Autism.
Adult Reader Reaction: This book was "okay." There were times when I found the information interesting and valuable; at other times I was left with more questions than answers. I think Temple deserved more voice. The quotes and her perspectives on life were wonderful, we just needed more of them. They are the strongest part of the book.
This is Temple's story, but it is also about her family. The author is very specific in the opinions and beliefs held by Temple's parents, and later brushes over the fact that her parents divorced. Given the statistics about the impact of raising an autistic child on marriage, and that this is a book offering to inform readers about autism, the author left this as a loose end.
Pros: Readers interested in understanding the world as seen by someone on the Autism Spectrum will find this book enlightening. This book is perfect for those who have a sibling or classmate with Autism as well as those who take interest to the topic.
Cons: The writing was weaker than expected for such a moving story.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Overall, this is a book that could inspire others and is worth the read.
Educational Themes: There are several layers to the book. Temple's personal story is worth reading in and of itself, and there are points in her life that are relevant even to today's kids and would be great for discussion. There are also lots of facts about farming, meat processing, and how industries work that could engage readers to learn more in other books.
Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2012 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.