I don’t know about you, but I’m glad it’s March. That means spring is around the corner. (I hope.) A new month also means a new book club read at From Left to Write!
For March, our book club member are currently reading Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison. The author is a rock star in the special needs community, not just for his first book Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s but because he’s an advocate as well. He travels extensively as a speaker and workshop facilitator.
Raising Cubby offers an insightful look about Robison and his relationship with is son, who also has Asperger’s. Here’s the official book blurb:
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.
I’ve read the book and you definitely don’t want to miss it! As someone who isn’t familiar with autism or Asperger’s, Raising Cubby gave me a peek into Robison’s parenting journey through his unique lens.
Raising Cubby is currently available for pre-order and will be released on March 12, which no coincidentally is when we’ll be discussing Robison’s memoir. Make sure you subscribe to our site feed so you don’t miss the discussion.