Colin Fischer has Asberger’s syndrome (high functioning) and begins high school without the adult specialist who has helped him strive to decode his classmates. On the first day of school, the school bully shoves his head in the toilet. Colin simply returns home to change, showing and feeling little emotion. Colin is brilliant, cannot stand to be touched, cannot handle loud noises, and cannot understand human emotions but by golly he is determined to investigate. His parents, both highly intelligent and employed by NASA, are wonderfully understanding and end up surprised at how Colin is handling high school. A student brought a gun to school and it went off in the cafeteria. Fortunately, no one was injured, but a student was accused and expelled. Colin has long admired detectives with his hero being Sherlock Holmes. Using his organized mind, acute observations, and logical reasoning, Colin sets about proving the innocence of the accused, the teen who has been bullying him since elementary school.
The story is told in 3rd person and 1st person. For the most part, a narrator tells the story but there are pieces from Colin’s ever present journal and also Colin’s first person voice making observations. Colin Fischer could be the young Monk (TV show detective). Colin’s mind is filled with facts that spill into the novel as lengthy factoid footnotes that I thought were quite clever. I found it interesting that Colin’s younger brother isn’t supportive or understanding but resentful and embarrassed by his brother and does not hold back from name calling. That is real life; there are many siblings who are simply not very supportive of each other. This book is tremendously well written. Engaging, informative, fascinating. I might put this one on my school’s reading list next year. Highly recommend.
eGalley review Publication date 11.8.12
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