Simon and Schuster; 2009
Overall Grade: A
Even for a typical kid, it can be hard getting by from one school day to the next. Hard to relate. Hard to figure out the right thing to do at the right moment. But Jason is anything but typical, and for him, every day is a battle to be the best version of himself he can be. He finds release and happiness in writing short stories and sharing them with an online friend from a creative writing website--but will his happiness last when he gets the chance to meet her in person where he can't hide behind his stories?
Anything But Typical is well-written, with a cast of great characters, all very believable and well-developed. Nora Raleigh Baskin's story is touching as well as important, and she brings it masterfully to life with excellent metaphors and descriptions, great pacing, and a wonderful first-person voice. The one drawback was a slight difficulty following the plot in a few moments; because the story is told from Jason's viewpoint, there are times when it was hard to tell whether what he was revealing was his daydreams or actual events.
This is one for the Newbery watch list.
Literary Quality: A-
Descriptive Ability: A+
Believability of Characters: A+
Believability of Situations: A+
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A+
Possibly objectionable topics*: bullying