Book Review – House Rules by Jodi Picoult

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Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week last week? Get a chance to check in with that teen in your life? Our Young Adults were on Spring Break. They had a couple of friends stop by and visit and did a lot of sleeping in.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter. We had a family Easter dinner yesterday. While we were waiting for the side dishes to get ready, our oldest son was working with Jim on guitar chords. It was so nice to see Jim as the teacher and our son anxious to learn.

April is National Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month. What is Autism? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a serious developmental disorder of the nervous system that impairs the ability to communicate or interact. It causes a person to have restricted or repetitive behavior.  I’ll be focusing the posts this month towards Autism to raise awareness about what Autism is and what we can do to accept those who have this disorder.

Since 2011, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has been referring to April as Autism Acceptance Month in an effort to gain acceptance of those who have autism. Acceptance is one of the biggest barriers to finding and building a strong support system for autistic individuals.

To kick off our theme of Autism this month, the book I picked to review is novel about a high functioning autistic individual who thought he was doing a good thing, but it wound up being not so good. He was only following the rules.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

House Rules

Author

Jodi Picoult

Type of Book

Mystery, Thriller

Author Background

Jodi Picoult is an American writer who has published twenty-six novels. House Rules is the eighteenth one. Her style is one of a storyteller. And this novel is no exception. She has done her research but has also experienced autism through her cousin, who was profoundly autistic.

Summary of the book

House Rules is the story about Jacob Hunt, who has a form of autism called Asperger Syndrome. He is very intelligent and has a deep knowledge of crime scenes and criminal investigations. He starts working with a private tutor, Jess Ogilvy, who he starts to have feelings for, in his own way. One day, while meeting her for a session, he finds her at the house she is staying at dead. The rest of the story is the investigation and how Jacob becomes involved in it.

Reaction to the book

I really liked the book. She did a great job of portraying the character Jacob and how he dealt with Aspbergers and how the people around him had to deal with him. Reading about Autism through the use of an engaging novel helps to not only learn about the disorder, but it makes the situation more relatable for the reader.

If you want to learn more about Joi Picoult, here is a link to her website Jodi Picoult

If you want to purchase House Rules, here is a link to Amazon – House Rules. Or you can pick it up from your local bookstore or shop Bookshop.org and have the purchase credited to them.

Happy Birthday picture for The Hard Way
Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way

This month is a big month for me too! On April 12th, we will be celebrating four years since The Hard Way was first published.

Cover design of my first book

It is a coming of age novel focusing on the teen challenges of peer pressure and the importance of choosing the right friends. Be sure to take a look at the books tab of my website to find out more about The Hard Way. Here is a link The Hard Way.

Have a great week!

Book Review: Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary

Book Review

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning Blog!


Did you know, World Autism Awareness Day was April 2nd and April is Autism Awareness Month? It is a great time to bring awareness about people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including Autism and Asperger syndromes.

While looking into Autism, I found an Autism 101 course on the Autism Society Website that helped me understand it better. Autism is a complex developmental disability affecting individuals in the areas of communication and social interaction. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning symptoms can occur in any combination and with varying degrees of severity. There are many resources available for parents and teachers. Here’s a link to their website Autism Society

In 2020, the Autism Society of America launched its Celebrate Differences campaign to build better awareness of the signs, symptoms and realities of autism. See the Celebrate Differences Pledge below.

What a perfect time to pick this book as the Big Library Read, eh? The Big Library Read, started in June of 2014, is “the first ever global eBook club.” It’s facilitated by OverDrive and is a reading program through your library which connects readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. There are three reads scheduled for this year, the one for this book being the first. The second one starts towards the end of June and the third one is in November. The website provides marketing materials for your local library to get involved and provide a way to join a discussion with other readers around the world. Be sure to take a look at their website. Big Library Read.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic

Author
Michael McCreary

Type of Book
Teen or Young Adult Memoir

Background
Michael McCreary was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of five. His parents enrolled him in the Stand up for Mental Health program at the age of thirteen where he found a positive outlet for his anxiety and met the founder of the program, David Granirer. McCreary trained with Granirer to create his comedy act, “Does This Make My Asperger’s Look Big?”. He was a contributor to the 2015 book published by the Autism Society called Autism: The Gift That Needs to be Opened. Now at the age of twenty-four, he is a self-defined Aspie Comic, a stand-up comedian who uses his love of the theater and being funny to breakdown the misconceptions about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Summary of the book
This memoir is McCreary’s story about growing up on the autism spectrum. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, McCreary takes us through his day to day life and the challenges he faced being “a little different” from the rest of us.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed the read and found the book to be very informative. I liked how it was more informally written, without a lot of statistics and textbook definitions. As he told this story, we could feel his humor and personality shining through. Engaging read for young readers as McCreary’s story could be very relatable for someone on the autism spectrum. It would be a very insightful read for those of us who aren’t as informed about ASD.

Link to the author
If you want to learn more about the author, here is a link to his website Michael McCreary

Link to the book
If you want to purchase this book, here is a link to Amazon. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic


Be sure to tune in to my Facebook page this Thursday, April 16th at 11:00 AM (Central Daylight Time (CDT)) for a live reading of chapter two of The Hard Way. Haven’t read chapter one yet? You can pick it up for free if you sign up for the e-mail list on my website. It will be a pop-up window when you first arrive on the home page. Hope to see you then.

Have a great week!