83 pages 2 hours read

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2009

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Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Anything But Typical, produced a video of an interview with author Nora Raleigh Baskin in which she discusses the many layers of meaning in the book and what kind of story about ASD she sought to tell with it.

As she says in the video, the book is really about acceptance. Do you think Jason has reached a state of true acceptance by the end of the novel? Compare moments in the text that suggest he has changed, identifying the specific story elements that indicate he has come to a much deeper sense of acceptance. Are there other characters who, over the course of the novel, learn to accept themselves?

Teaching Suggestion: This question is a good entry point into a discussion about mirrors as a symbol in the novel in the novel. Mirrors are deployed frequently to show the disparity between the way we see ourselves and the way we are perceived by others. If students are struggling to come up with evidence that Jason has changed, instruct them to look for mirrors in the text, since they are symbols of Jason’s journey toward self-acceptance.