Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives

John Elder Robison. Crown, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-88484-8
Robison's third book starts with a bang—his description of the "malicious explosion" created by his teenage Cubby that has the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, looking at 60 years in prison, is as disconcerting as it is captivating. Sadly, much of the book drops off from there as the author segues into the personal story of his own transition from adolescence to adulthood. While the social problems he encounters because he, too, has Aspergers, are appealing, the stories of his business dealings lack the appeal of Cubby's journey. The tales of bringing up his son, which are relayed in 55 short chapter-length vignettes and told in the accessible prose that made his book Look Me in the Eye, a New York Times bestseller, are decidedly hit or miss. For instance, "Tuck-in Time," which simply explains that kids like bedtime stories, gives little insight into Aspergers or to Cubby's personality. On the other hand, "Cubby Versus the School" and "Reading" give a personal and informative perspective on the challenges kids with Cubby's condition face when it comes to acceptance and learning. The story picks up in the last 100 pages, as Cubby, a brilliant kid with an inquisitive scientific mind, creates explosive chemistry experiments that bring charges from the local DA. With the ensuing investigation and trial, Cubby and the author are drawn into a crazy world that threatens to tear apart their already delicate lives and allows the book to live up to the promise of its exciting first five pages. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 03/12/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-385-67038-8
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-385-67036-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-88135-9
Paperback - 365 pages - 978-0-307-88485-5
Hardcover - 583 pages - 978-1-4104-5887-2
Open Ebook - 239 pages - 978-0-307-88486-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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