Jun 5, 2013

The White Bicycle

I just found out that this Printz Honor book is actually the third in the Wild Orchard series. So right off the bat, I can tell you that you don't need prior knowledge of the first two in order to fall in love with this novel.

19-year-old Taylor has Asperger's Syndrome, and is traveling to France with her mother in order to work as a "personal care assistant" to boost her resume in her continued attempts at achieving total responsibility.  While making decisions and learning about the world around her, Taylor grapples with her mother's constant life interference and inability to let her be a woman. The ultimate reveal of  betrayal is both heartbreaking and uplifting as Taylor keeps on keeping on toward her personal goals.  I'm definitely going back and reading the other novels in the series when I get a chance.

I've encountered many young adults who love the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as well as Marcelo in the Real World, both of which focus on a main character with Asperger's.  In the past, they have asked me for more books with similar plots and themes, and I'm definitely adding The White Bicycle to my mental list.  Brenna paints a realistic depiction of Taylor's thoughts and confused emotions throughout her experiences.  I believe teens will relate to Taylor's conflicts with family and life; the way she describes her understanding of events and emotions are peculiar yet insightful and even without the perspective of a person living with Asperger's, they apply to the angst and emotional rollercoasters that can be a teenager's life.

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