Raising Cubby By John Elder Robison

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives.
Written By: John Elder Robison

*I received a free copy of this book from BloggingForBooks in return for an honest review

John Elder Robison has written a beautifully worded tome that takes people through his life as a father with Aspergers…raising a son with the same.

A little back story on Aspergers, for those who don’t know much about it:

The dictionary defines Aspergers Syndrome as – noun, Psychiatry.
1.
a developmental disorder characterized by severely impaired social skills, repetitive behaviors, and often, a narrow set of interests, but not involving delayed development of linguistic and cognitive abilities: now considered one of the autism spectrum disorders.

Social Skills – things that most people take for granted like speaking to friends, meeting new people, or even walking through school – these ‘normal’ and often overlooked skills are difficult to learn and understand when you are a member of this ‘elite group.’ (Think – Bazinga! You sat in my spot!)

Change is difficult, minor issues become obsessions (poodle hair feels strange so I can’t pet my dog!), and many parts of your day must be repetitive to keep you comfortable.

Think about that for a few seconds

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Now, imagine having all of that and raising a child; a child who is also diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. This book allows you to take whatever shallow pseudo-understanding a person not suffering from being on the spectrum might have, and kick it up a notch (even those of us who have had a lot of interaction with the Spectrum aren’t going to ever truly understand it, each case is different and trying in its own right!).

I’m not going to launch a litany of reasons for you to read this book, there are too many to list in my self-imposed 500 words or less box. I’m just going to give you two more:

1) This book is ACTION PACKED (explosions, court cases, car wrecks, etc)

and

2) If you were a completely, socially anxious person with trouble expressing yourself to the outside world and you wrote a book that is now available to that outside world…would you want people to pass it by? I wouldn’t…and I don’t think you should either!

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 Dragons.  Thank you Mr. Robison for sharing this story with the world!

*As a side note, as doctors begin to understand more about the Autism Spectrum, changes are being made to the way people are being diagnosed, and handled, and teachers are able to learn more about how to teach those particular students.

You Should Write That Novel – NaNoWriMo

wonderful words of WriMo wisdom!

Staving Off Disaster

Who's with me? Who’s with me?

I don’t quite remember how I first stumbled upon the magic of National Novel Writing Month. I was in high school, so I am apt to assume it was my wonderful cousin, Jodie, who let me in on the secret. Whoever opened the door, they welcomed me into a world of excitement and achievement.

For those of you won’t don’t know, NaNoWriMo (pronounced nah-no-rye-mo) is a novel writing competition that takes place during the month of November. You compete with yourself, the terrible parts of yourself that scream “this is utter crap” and “you’re not really a writer,” for one month, 30 days, to win the ultimate prize—a finished 50,000 word manuscript of your novel. It is for those of us who daydream about having written that one book we’ve thought we should always write, if only we had the time. It is the memoir you…

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Author Interview: Elissa Sussman

The Book Wars

Elissa-Sussman_photobyJohnPetajaElissa Sussman is a writer, a reader and a pumpkin pie eater.
Her debut novel, STRAY (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins), is a YA fantasy about fairy
godmothers, magic and food. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a
previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation
studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks. You
can see her name in the credits of THE CROODS, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, THE
PRINCESS AND THE FROG and TANGLED.
She currently lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue mutt, Basil. You can find her at her websiteStray is her first novel.

1.      Let’s start off with the easy questions. What is your favourite fairytale and why?

I’ve always loved East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which is this wonderfully epic fairy tale. The first half is a cross…

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Last week’s Short Story

This is the short story that SHOULD have been posted last week. It’s not great, but here it is…

“Where’s Jo?”

“Where’s Jo?” Bill Baxly demanded, barreling in to his client’s home without a second thought.

“I haven’t seen her since the Major Meltdown last week,” Jess shrugged her shoulders and continued to hold the popcorn away from Eddie, too used to her roommate’s agent to be concerned with his rudeness.

“She’s locked in her room,” Freddie supplied, using the distraction to attempt yet another failed popcorn theft.

“She’s been in there for four days?” Bill roared, “Has anyone checked to make sure she’s alive? What could she possibly be doing in there? YOU TWO ARE HER BEST FRIENDS AND YOU JUST LET HER STAY IN THERE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

“Chill out Bill,” Jess laughed in the face of his growls, “We’ve talked to her, she just isn’t ready to come out yet.”
“Yeah man, I left her breakfast by the door this morning and everything,” Fred bristled, forgetting the popcorn in his indignation. “I’ve texted her, and fed her, several times already today. What about you? Have you had any contact with her? You’re her AGENT Bill, why don’t you take some responsibility.”

“Well I…she didn’t…We had a meeting and she didn’t show up for it.” Bill stuttered, “I’m just her agent, I expect her to be responsible for herself.”

“She’s an artist!” Fred stood up and marched to stand directly in front of Bill’s face, “A multi-media author and artist who makes you an awful lot of money! If you want her to make it to meetings AND take responsibility for herself, maybe you should a) remind her of them and b) NOT ALLOW THINGS LIKE THURSDAY TO HAPPEN!”

“THAT WASN’T MY FAULT! IF SHE HADN’T BEEN SO RUDE TO THE PRINCESS OF ALDONIA, THAT HUSKY FUR COVERED MERCHANT WOULDN’T HAVE SAID THOSE THINGS!”

“Bill,” The soft voice held an edge that caused all three of the pillow throwing screamers to stop in their tracks. “The so-called princess of Aldonia was a con-artist who caused a scene because I recognized her from school.”

“But..but…”

“No,” Jo never raised her voice, never even glared, but the ‘no’ signal with her fingers and the soft steel of her voice seemed to leave no room for argument. “Now, I am going back to my room to finish the picture book I’ve been working on. Jess and Fred, eat something other than popcorn. Bill, let yourself out, learn to knock, and PLEASE check your e-mail for goodness sakes!”

Her door shut as quietly as it had opened, leaving her three friends staring after her with wide eyed worry.

“Did you see her HAIR?” Jess whispered in confused awe.

“I HEARD THAT!” Jo’s yell sent them scurrying away, off for lunch at an internet café.

Updates and Giveaways

I haven’t done a Tyree Tomes update in a long while, but a few things happened/are happening that I wanted to pass along to you before I get to posting the short stories for this week AND last week (how I typed it but never posted it I do not know!).

1) this past week Dr. Tyree’s book giveaway totals surpassed last year’s 12 month total of 1268 books given away. As of last Wednesday (with a month remaining in the fiscal year) his total was up to 1389! This is very exciting for us because it is not only a part of his personal ministry….it is also something that can aid in literacy, an issue our entire family can get behind!

2) following that doozy of an announcement, all 4 of my 5th grade classes reached the required level of “Class Cup” points to receive their first reward so Dr. Tyree came and spent the day giving short pep talks over “practice makes better makes perfect” and entertaining my kids with percussion instruments!

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The kids LOVED it, my principal LOVED it, and I got to give my students something fun. I call that a win/win/win situation!

3) Finally, in honor of the Fall season here in the States (even if tomorrow’s high here is 91 degrees) I am offering all of my published books for FREE on the kindle /e-reader app from tomorrow (October 6th) thru Wednesday (October 8th).
find them here

I hope you all have had a truly amazing weekend!