Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reader's Diary #1278- Kathy Hoopmann (Writer), Mike Medaglia (adapted by), Rachael Smith (artist): Blue Bottle Mystery / An Asperger Adventure

I was right to be skeptical that Kathy Hoopman's Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure would be didactic. Teaching what it's like to have Asperger Syndrome is clearly this book's raison d'etre.

Still, I didn't take too much issue with that because 1. I'm okay learning about Asperger Syndrome and 2. the mystery plot was engaging enough to look past the lessons.

The book revolves around Ben who, at the beginning of the book, is undiagnosed. He's frustrated by his struggle to understand people and others are frustrated with him. He does, however, have one close friend in Andy. They find a bottle, imagine that there's a genie inside and start making wishes. Then the wishes start coming true...

I actually thought the more subtle message of the book was more important. On the surface, there's a lot of talk about how Ben is different, but beneath it all we see that he is still a child and in many ways, still thinks and acts as one.

The art, while far from ground-breaking, is suitably expressive and bright with a hint of manga influence.

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