I was excited to read and review this book, along with my ten-year-old son. Haydn has Asperger's, and he watched a small part of the HBO movie about Temple's life. He related to Temple in that movie, so I thought this book would be good for him.
I was right.
Temple's love and empathy for/with animals is something my son can understand. When we adopted two kittens, Hocus & Pocus, we called the the "Therapy Cats." My son would cuddle them and show affection that he was unable to express with we human family members. We spent a lot of time teaching him how to treat animals. It pleased him to read about Temple lying down among the cattle and also about her efforts to make things better for those same creatures. From my side, it was neat to read about Temple's thoughts on the animals and how they helped her as a child. I am daily struggling to help Haydn be who he is and also learn to live in this society. I hope, hearing some of my same advice from Temple helped it make sense to him.
My son was teased relentlessly in school and still gets hurt by neighbor kids. He liked hearing how Temple survived the bullying and grew up to follow her dreams in her own way, not the way society would set for her. My son spends his free time either building Lego creations (a working pistol, a soda machine, etc.) or folding intricate origami animals and paper planes that really fly. By showing him Temple's life as an engineer and designer, I pray I gave him some hope for his own future and confidence that his skills are worthwhile.
I thank Sy Montgomery for writing this kid-size biography of Temple Grandin. Our whole family has enjoyed the fruits of her labor.