83 pages 2 hours read

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2009

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Anything But Typical

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade realistic
  • Originally Published: 2009
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 640L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 208 pages; approx. 3 hours, 35 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Twelve-year-old Jason Blake is autistic and often struggles with relationships in a neurotypical world. Thanks to an online site where Jason posts original stories, he has the chance to make a friend in a fellow writer named Rebecca—if he can just work up the courage to meet her.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Neurodiversity; bullying

Nora Raleigh Baskin, Author

  • Bio: American essayist, writing teacher, and writer of fiction for middle graders and teens; draws inspiration for her fiction from childhood experiences, her Jewish heritage, and her observations as a parent
  • Other Works: Almost Home (2003); The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah (2008); Ruby on the Outside (2015)
  • Awards: ALSC Notable Children's Books (2010); Notable Books for a Global Society (2010); Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award (2010)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Writing
  • Neurotypical Versus Atypical
  • The Unreliable Narrator

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the cultural and social contexts regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that impact the way Jason, the protagonist of the novel, experiences the world as an Atypical Versus Neurotypical person.