Colin Fischer
  • Colin Fischer
  • Colin Fischer

Colin Fischer

4.5 16
by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz
     
 

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SOLVING CRIME, ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION AT A TIME

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.

But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne… See more details below

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Overview

SOLVING CRIME, ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION AT A TIME

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.

But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin's frequent tormenter, didn't bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn't have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun...

Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and his story--as told by the screenwriters of X-Men: First Class and Thor--is perfect for readers who have graduated from Encyclopedia Brown and who are ready to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Colin Fischer, 14, has Asperger's syndrome. He is highly intelligent, but incapable of reading social cues and struggles to navigate everyday situations. When he enters high school, he faces bullies, class clowns, cliques, and a mystery: Who brought the gun to school that went off in the cafeteria? He soon becomes convinced that the bully, Wayne, who is temporarily suspended, is not guilty. As he works to exonerate Wayne, everyone wonders why he would help someone who dunked him in the toilet on the first day of school. For Colin, it is not a matter of helping the bully, but of making sure that the truth comes out. He eventually proves Wayne is innocent and in the process makes a new friend. Each chapter starts out with an excerpt from Colin's diary, giving facts about Asperger's, a clever device to avoid didactic writing. Colin's family interactions, including squabbles with his younger brother, who resents his sibling's special needs, render him sympathetic. Overall, this book succeeds in making Colin a believable character, deeply rooted in his disability, but always a person first.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Publishers Weekly
The screenwriting team behind X-Men: First Class and Thor make their YA debut with the story of a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome solving a crime, a premise that can’t help evoking Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Kids constantly target high school freshman Colin, who struggles to understand their facial expressions or jokes, and who sometimes barks when upset. When a gun goes off in the school cafeteria, Colin uses his considerable observational skills and powers of logic to prove that Wayne, a bully who put Colin’s head in the toilet on the first day of school, wasn’t responsible (when an incredulous Wayne asks Colin why he is helping, Colin simply replies, “You’re innocent”). Through journal entries that begin each chapter and footnotes about everything from genetic chimerism to false dichotomies, readers get a strong sense of how Colin’s brain works. Beyond Colin and his parents, though, the other characters are somewhat flat. Even so, readers will be drawn into the mystery and intrigued by Colin’s vision of the world. Ages 12–up. Agent: Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
The subgenre combining sleuthing with characters who have Asperger syndrome gets a new entry offering humor and interesting historical and scientific connections--but the narrative viewpoint drifts unsettlingly. Colin begins high school with a cheat sheet to decipher facial expressions, but he no longer uses a "shadow," an adult to help him navigate the social landscape. The hallway's crowded (Colin hates touch); the bathroom sign is blue (a color he dislikes); and Wayne (who's been bullying him for years) dunks his head in the toilet. As the plot unfolds--bullying, Colin's arithmetical approach to basketball, birthday cake and a real gun going off in the cafeteria--Colin tracks everything in his notebook (facts only). Many entries end with this plan: "Investigate." As a sleuth, Colin's sharply observant, his discoveries impressive. The gun mystery doesn't frighten him: "Wayne Connelly is innocent, and I will prove it. The game is afoot." Disconcertingly, the narrative voice conveys some of Colin's thoughts but also some of his parents' and Wayne's; sometimes it aligns itself with Colin's perspective, sometimes it describes him from the outside ("her irony as lost on Colin as it usually was"). Omniscience is one thing, authorial convenience another. This mobile narrative allegiance makes it hard to pinpoint whether the Asperger humor is from Colin or about him. Entertaining, but confused about its point of view. (Fiction. 11-16)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101590737
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/01/2012
Series:
Colin Fischer , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
167,746
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Colin Fischer is like an alien anthropologist stranded on Earth, with no choice but to master the local social codes and try to pass as human, or perish." —Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians

"Evok[es] Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . . Readers will be drawn into the mystery and intrigued by Colin’s vision of the world." —PW

"The 14-year-old hero of this extraordinary debut novel is like no one else we've met in children's literature. . . . Readers will take this hero to heart." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"This is a delightful novel; Colin is a young Sherlock Holmes." —Library Media Connection, starred review

“The subgenre combining sleuthing with characters who have Asperger syndrome gets a new entry offering humor and interesting historical and scientific connections.” - Kirkus Reviews

"Authors Miller and Stentz['s] . . . portrayal of differently wired Colin feels genuine and authentic. [An] engaging and humorous mystery." —Horn Book Reviews

"A sympathetic and dynamic character." —Booklist

"I fell for Colin." —L.A. Times

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