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Colin Fischer - Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz Originally posted on my blog Guiltless Reading.

Who is Colin Fischer? Why does he hate being touched? Why does he like math? Investigate.

This book is about Colin and I grew to love this smart and endearing young man. The book alternates between a few pages from Colin's diary entries and the mystery he must solve. As each chapter open with a diary entry, each page also gives us a glimpse into how Colin's mind works -- he is brilliant, caring, insightful -- just like his heroes Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Spock. This juxtaposes with his many many quirks -- he hates being touched, he can't express himself emotionally, he can't read into social cues. It is all this that makes for some unusual insights into other people.

I enjoyed seeing the humour behind some of Colins predicaments. I enjoyed celebrating his small victories (what a great ball player he is!)

This is a seamless combination of middle grade mystery and a young boy's struggle to fit in at school. While Colin's world seemed quite black and white -- the good guys and the bad guys -- as Colin sets out to solve the mystery, these tags slowly melt away and he learns that people cannot be pigeonholed. Unwittingly he makes friends with the most unlikely of people, and there is also a smidgen of some romance.

The mystery side makes this book a lot of fun, and it made me cheer Colin on to find out the truth, to clear the name of someone he knew as innocent.

This is extremely well written and overall I enjoyed the whole ride! I can certainly see this becoming a series of small mysteries that will be solved by Mr. Fischer himself, possibly with the help of his now-allies.

***

I can see a wide range of readers liking this book.

Middle grade readers will enjoy this for the mystery side, as well as being able to relate to someone who is different or doesn't quite fit into the complicated relationships and cliques that makes up any school.

Those who have children who have Asperger's or autism will appreciate this for the insight into this young boy's incisive mind.

Overall, loved this book! It's touted to be like The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time, and while it did remind me of it, in my opinion, this has a much more personal touch.

***

Uh-ohs:

Despite the voice of the story being clearly Colin's, the narrator is not Colin. The diary entries are Colin's voice but the footnotes I was confused as to whose voice those were in.

I found some characters and moments being cliche. How many times do the weird boys need to be dunked in the toilet bowl? Thank goodness there is no food fight in this one.

Verdict: Mystery solved. Get to know Colin Fischer; get to know this special young man with a passion to for justice and a heart of gold. Highly recommended for middle age readers!