Saturday, May 19, 2012
by Jennifer Roy
Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel Clark lives in two worlds—the outside world of his family and friends and his own, special, inside Aspie world, where he’s not forced to interact with people or worry about wearing his clothes right-side out. The world where he can solve mathematical problems that elude even the brightest graduate students. The world where he feels he can find his own inner truth. People say he’s a genius, but Nathaniel thinks differently. According to a book he once read, a true genius uses his talent to make a contribution to the world. Nathaniel takes the definition literally, and begins his quest for genius status. (description from Amazon.com)
I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was a really accessible glimpse into the mind of someone with Asperger's Syndrome. Nathaniel's mind worked very differently from say, mine, but the author took pains to write so that it was not so foreign that it would be off-putting as a reader to try to understand.
Nathaniel was interesting and driven. I love that he truly strived to become a positive addition to society. He longed for nothing more than to become the true definition of a "genius" - someone who produced something incredible. *Spoiler* I love that his passion drives him not only to become enrolled at MIT, but also to balance that with a "fun" part-time job at a grocery store.
I loved that Nathaniel also had "normal" friends and that he was so high functioning. Being in a band and going bowling or playing video games with friends seem to be things that a lot of autistic/Aspie kids can't do and it was heartwarming to see a character that was inspired to participate so much by his family. I loved the relationship he and his mother had...and while I didn't like his relationship with his father, I understood how it could have developed and thought it was very realistic. It was nice to see his loving stepmother, too.
All in all, I thought this book was very well done and I recommend it anytime you are looking for something a little bit different!