5.0 3
by Jennifer Roy

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A boy with Asperger’s Syndrome proves he’s a genius.


A boy with Asperger’s Syndrome proves he’s a genius.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel is a genius. Or so he's been told. He could read at age three, has a memory like a computer, and has already graduated from high school and college, ready to enter graduate school. However, Nathaniel has problems interacting with others socially, even sometimes with his good friends Jessa and Cooper. Nathaniel would rather stay in his own "aspie" (short for Asperger) world and not have to worry about anyone or anything except himself. Nevertheless, Nathaniel has to learn how to make it in the real world. He has a mother who totally understands his disorder and a father who does not. His friends have learned to accept who he is and have made him a part of their band. Nathaniel read a book stating that a true genius will make a contribution to the whole world. As a result, he tries to find some way to make a difference so he can live up to his potential. Funny things, sometimes unavoidable things, happen to him. He becomes obsessed with making his gift to the world, but nothing is good enough. Then, without realizing it, he finally succeeds. Readers will enjoy Nathaniel's interesting and funny first-person insights into the world of Asperger's. Through Nathaniel, readers will understand more about what it is like to have Asperger's and how children with this disorder think and act. This book is an excellent book for teachers and parents. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson
When Nathaniel Clark, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was eleven, he aced his AP exams, including one in Mandarin, and at thirteen, he was a senior at the University of Arizona Distance Learning and owned his own business, prompting family and friends to call him a genius. Since he has read books that suggest otherwise, he scoffs at the notion and is unwilling to rest on his laurels. At fourteen, Nathaniel looks for ways he can use his talents to do something he feels is worthy of the genius label. Encouraged by his syrupy-sweet and involved mother, Nathaniel thrives. Under his father's influence, he does not. His father insults him repeatedly before eventually moving on to form a new family. Roy's depiction of characters with Asperger's Syndrome seems authentic, but the technical namedropping (echolalia, neurotypical, asynchrony) and accompanying explanations, often threaten good storytelling, including the subplot involving Nathaniel's crush on Jessa. Flashbacks, or scans through Nathaniel's schema files, offer backstory and help the reader see how he makes sense of information and relationships, particularly the fragile one he has with his father. Depictions of Nathaniel's frustration and confusion are just as clear and convincing as depictions of his talent for doing math, writing educational songs, and playing the keyboard in his band. One scene includes underage drinking, but there are realistic consequences. Mature readers will empathize with Nathaniel as his friends, Jessa and Cooper, do. This book is for teens who appreciate a story about self-discovery, dreams, and friendship. Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Imagine you have a photographic memory but can't read everyday social cues; you can understand quantum physics, but cannot understand a mother's need to give you a hug. Imagine your happiest moments are spent in your room with your computer, but your mother and your therapist make you venture out into society on a daily basis. Nathaniel, a 14-year-old with Asperger's syndrome, faces these dilemmas and more. Mindblind is told in his voice, making use of memory flashbacks that he has coded much like files on a computer. He is homeschooled and has finished college, but has yet to learn how to handle tough social situations such as drinking at parties, negotiating boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, taking responsibility for friendships, and working through pitfalls in his interactions with his parents. Nathaniel is honest and funny, poignant and detached, driven to achieve his best, and is puzzled by the behaviors of others. Roy writes with a strong voice and the authenticity of one who knows children with Asperger's, yet Nathaniel's problems and concerns can and should reach a wider audience. The book is comparable in scope and effectiveness to Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Doubleday, 2003), yet contains its own unique character and story.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Kirkus Reviews

Lovable 14-year-old "Aspie" Nathaniel Clark stores his memories in computer-like files in his brain, loves formulas, plays keyboard in a rock band, has some trouble in social situations, likes to spend time in his own mental world and really, really wants to be a genius. Nathaniel's father, now divorced from his mother, does not believe in Asperger's syndrome; he insists that Nathaniel can simply be "normal" if he chooses to. To prove this, he forces Nathaniel to go to a party, where Nathaniel unknowingly ingests quite a bit of alcohol along with his fruit punch. The sickness that ensues, coupled with the fact that Nathaniel thinks he sees the girl he loves with another boy, nearly results in institutionalization. Luckily, he has a great therapist, a loving mother and some incredibly supportive friends/bandmates who get him through the rough patch. The band decides to video-record themselves singing Nathaniel's rocking math songs, and they quickly become famous. There is romance, grad school and a job at the grocery store just on the horizon. Overly optimistic? Maybe--but who cares? Readers will be happy to see Nathaniel succeed. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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Mindblind 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I give the book Mindblind by Jennifer Roy 5 stars, because this standout fiction novel was an enjoyable read. This book had me up late reading chapter by chapter, word for word. It was very realistic, which made you feel like you were right there, in the novel, with the main character, Nathaniel Clark. It is hard to put this thick book into a minimal summary, but briefly, it is about a fourteen year-old boy named Nathaniel. He lives in two worlds, the outside one with friends and family, and his “free-zone”, inside his head where he can store his brain files, and stay calm. Nathaniel has Asperger’s Syndrome. Everyone has said he is a genius, since he was a child, so when he looked up what exactly a genius is at an early age, the book told him that, “A true genius uses his talent to make a contribution to the world.” He decided that he would never be a genius until that happened, so this book is his quest to become a “true genius”, it includes his difficult family and social life, not to mention his love life, as well. I recommend this book to specifically middle schoolers and high schoolers because it has some challenging vocab, and Nathaniel also uses many equations, so it may be hard for younger children to understand. Another reason is because of two perspectives/ two worlds; it may get a bit more confusing for thoughs of younger age. All in all, Mindblind is a fantastic book which I enjoyed every second of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cover is beautiful This book really blew my mind. I love it so much.