Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High ExplosivesHardback
- Publisher: CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP, DIVISION OF RANDOM HOUSE INC
- Format: Hardback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 163mm x 239mm x 33mm | 635g
- Publication date: 25 March 2013
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0307884848
- ISBN 13: 9780307884848
- Sales rank: 144,641
The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad's relationship with his equally offbeat son--complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn't a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When his son, Cubby, asked, "Where did I come from?" John said he'd bought him at the Kid Store and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would "do all chores." He read electrical engineering manuals to Cubby at bedtime. He told Cubby that wizards turned children into stone when they misbehaved. Still, John got the basics right. He made sure Cubby never drank diesel fuel at the automobile repair shop he owns. And he gave him a life of adventure: By the time Cubby was ten, he'd steered a Coast Guard cutter, driven a freight locomotive, and run an antique Rolls Royce into a fence. The one thing John couldn't figure out was what to do when school authorities decided that Cubby was dumb and stubborn--the very same thing "he" had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger's too? The answer was unclear. One thing "was" clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant chemist--smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring state and federal agents calling. Afterward, with Cubby facing up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally coming to terms with being "on the spectrum" as both a challenge and a unique gift. By turns tender, suspenseful, and hilarious, this is more than just the story of raising Cubby. It's the story of a father and son who grow up together. Praise for John Robison's first book, "Look Me In the Eye" "Lean, powerful in its descriptive accuracy and engaging in its understated humor...Emotionally gripping." --"Chicago Tribune" "A fantastic life story told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality." --"Entertainment Weekly" "Endearing...Robison is a natural storyteller." --"Boston Globe"
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JOHN ELDER ROBISON is the author of two previous books, the "New York Times" bestseller "Look Me in the Eye" and "Be Different." He lectures widely on autism and neurological differences, and is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. John also serves on committees and review boards for the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. A machinery enthusiast and avid photographer, John lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his family, animals, and machines.
By Marianne Vincent 16 Jul 2013
Raising Cubby is the third book by American author, classic car restorer and Aspergian, John Elder Robison. In it, he details the challenges faced by a father with Asperger's Syndrome as he tries to raise a child whom he belatedly learns has the same condition. From describing the plight of a person who cannot detect behavioural cues trying to understand a baby, through making up bedtime stories, battling with inflexible school authorities and finally on to the high school chemistry hobby that brings the ATF visiting and ends with a court appearance, Robison's narrative is often hilarious, occasionally poignant and always interesting. Robison's imaginative explanations are a great source of humour: how Santa got his reindeer; where babies come from; flying lizards; children with tails; nuclear horses; and being bear bait. He takes a novel approach to getting his son to sleep. Looking at trains takes on a whole other meaning with Cubby and his dad. Together they practice the economies of labour unique to bachelors; they experience their own version of the running of the bulls; they design their own house; they even get to be Chairman Mao (for a short while). Bizarre behaviour can become perfectly logical when explained by an Aspergian. It is gratifying to read just how positive Robison remains despite all the challenges and setbacks he has faced. This memoir is a fascinating look into the very different world of the Aspergian. Funny, moving and quite captivating.
By THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK 22 Jan 2013
John Elder Robison's life hasn't been typical. Raised in what some might call a dysfunctional family, he spent years wondering why he didn't fit in with others. His slant on life was slightly skewed and he did not fit in the traditional public school. Socially awkward, he had few friends until he met a girl he called Little Bear. Friends for years, their relationship finally turned romantic. After a few years of marriage, she gave birth to their only son, who John nicknamed Cubby. Although many of his quirks were his and his alone, he was similar enough to his parents that it may amaze readers to find that he was not diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until many years after they were diagnosed.
This is an inspirational story of two parents, themselves "different", who managed to find a way to cope with a world they did not always understand while raising a child who also found the world to be a difficult place. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, it is also a touching tribute to the triumph of the human spirit.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Robison ... sheds some light on how having Asperger's helped him cultivate an outlaw style of parenting...by turns hilarious, poignant, weird, shocking, and inspiring...This book will make you laugh, and make you think about how to parent a child who doesn't fit into the neat categories we expect our children to occupy." --Parents.com "How does a man who lacks a sense of empathy and an ability to read nonverbal cues learn to be a father? And how does a man with Asperger's learn to recognize the same symptoms in his own child? (A key element in the book is Robison's son's own diagnosis, and Robison's reaction to his having missed seeing the signs for as long as he had.) In many ways, this is a traditional father-and-son memoir, but the added element of Asperger's gives the story a stronger emotional core: when Robison and his wife separated, for example, he realized he had been misreading a lot of what had been going on between them. It's a story of a man learning to be a parent, yes, but it's also--and perhaps more importantly--the story of a man discovering, as an adult, who he really is." --"Booklist " "John Elder Robison is one of my autism super heroes because he bravely brings humor and humility to the heart and soul of the taboo and unexpected corners of life lived with autism. His new book, "Raising Cubby," is more than a memoir about a father and son bound by their Asperger syndrome. It's a story that reminds us how precious and precarious the parent child relationship is and how beautiful our lives can be when we are share that ride together. "Raising Cubby" is Robison's best work yet." --Liane Holliday-Willey, coauthor of "Pretending To Be Normal: Living with Asperger Syndrome" "John Robison's skill as a master storyteller is nowhere more evident than in his third book, "Raising Cubby." This heartwarming memoir takes us on the colorful journey of John and his son, Jack (aka Cubby), as they learn about the world together. Atn