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Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure [Paperback]

Kathy Hoopmann
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 6 2000 Asperger Adventures
'I read this book in under an hour and then immediately picked it up and read it again, much to my brother's disappointment ("It's my book!") It is a story that succeeds in the challenge parents and siblings have been faced with for years - how to explain what Autism is without drowning people amidst technical terms and psychology. It contains a lot of information whilst still being an intriguing tale of a boy's adventure that would excite any child whether they had autism or not. It was a wonderful to listen to my brothers cries of "Oh now I understand," " I do that," " Aspergers - that's what I have." The story highlights the problems for family and friends of Autistic children and for the children themselves and allows the reader to take up their part in the story. It provides advice and support, a good explanation of Autism and a heart-warming story. We shall have to buy another copy because both my brother and I love it too much to let the other have a read. My only criticism is that it does not make a good bed-time story as my brother would not go to sleep; he wanted to hear more of the story and tell me more about what he had read. Congratulations on a truly wonderful book. Best of luck.'- Clare Truman (age 14)This is a warm, fun-filled fantasy story for children with a difference: the hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, they little realize the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this exciting mystery is the story of how Ben is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and how he and his family deal with the problems and joys that come along.Blue Bottle Mystery is a delight to read that is more than just another kid's book. For the first time, the issues and frustrations that a child may have with Asperger Syndrome are explored within a fictional format especially for children. Its portrayal of Ben as the central character offers other children with autistic spectrum disorders and their peers a positive role model. It is a valuable teaching tool that demystifies children with Asperger Syndrome, justifying their individuality as valid and interesting.In Blue Bottle Mystery Kathy Hoopmann has combined her love of children with her passion for fantasy literature to produce a delightful read for anyone who loves an adventure and wants a unique insight into the mind of an Asperger child.

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From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-Nothing seems to be going right for Ben. Sometimes he has trouble understanding what his teachers are saying, and they get frustrated and yell at him. And because he sometimes acts strangely, he only has one friend, Andy. The boys are in a miserable mood, digging in the dirt in the schoolyard, when they unearth a mysterious blue bottle. Imagining that it belongs to a genie, they leap into a barrage of wishes and, gradually, their wishes begin to come true. Ben and his father win the lottery, while Andy begins a furious growth spurt that enables him to join the basketball team. Even Ben's behavior problems are eased when he is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a kind of autism, and he and his family learn how to deal with his condition. Only the mystery of Ben and Andy's forgotten third wish remains, and that resolves itself in a most gratifying way. Blue Bottle Mystery is a simple and straightforward story with appealing characters. It's a gentle introduction to the challenges and unique qualities of people living with Asperger's and a welcome read for families who have experienced it and similar conditions.

Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


'Imagine trying to find your way in foreign country where the signposts are jumbled; or not being able to talk, use your hands or facial gestures; or hearing 10 radio programmes at once and not being able to tune in to any of them. This is how a person with Asperger Syndrome feels. Blue Bottle Mystery is a delightful children's story that includes a character who suffers from this affliction and has to cope with it in order to solve a mystery. Intended to explain the Asperger condition to young sufferers and their friends, the book is non-threatening and makes learning fun. It should achieve its objective and maybe also make adults more aware of the problems the sufferers have to face.'- Sunshine Coast Sunday'Blue Bottle Mystery is a whimsical tale with a punch. Not only does it educate about the effects of Asperger Syndrome, it tells a sweet tale to boot. Ben and Andy both struggle with their conditions at the beginning of the book. With the help of the blue bottle, they are able to overcome their problems. But they also learn something along the way.'- Midwest Book Review'Blue Bottle Mystery is a simple and straightforward story with appealing characters. It's a gentle introduction to the challenges and unique qualities of people living with Asperger and a welcome read for families who have experienced it and similar conditions.'- Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library'Blue Bottle Mystery is a children's story, which addresses the misunderstandings that arise from behaviours exhibited by a child with Asperger SyndromeThroughout the adventure, the reader is offered an enlightening and entertaining insight into the mind of a child with this disorder. BBM is an educational adventure, ideal for a sibling who may be experiencing difficulty understanding and accommodating the behaviour of a brother or sister with Asperger Syndrome. It would also be suitable for a child who has Asperger Syndrome and who is seeking support and/or a better understanding of their condition. Although targeted at a reader of about eight or nine years, the language is simple and light enough to be understood by a younger child and the plot offers the depth to entertain a reader of any age. This book would be a valuable addition to the bookshelves of all families, schools and health professionals, who live, play and/or work with a child with Asperger Syndrome. At the end of the book is also a very useful list of organisations and contacts for further information.'- The Australian Health Consumer'Kathy Hoopman is a primary school teacher who has been involved with children with Asperger Syndrome for many years. It is a wonderful book for your children to read, or for you to read together, and to talk about what it must be like to see the world in this particular way.'-'Written with fascinating intrigue, a real adventure, this book brings us smack in the middle of the world of autism and Asperger syndrome. You understand from an insider's point of view without any technical terms to complicate the situation. The aim of this book was to give good advice and support as well as a complete explanation on what Autism and Asperger Syndrome entail. All this while reading a charming story. Fun to read and exciting until you finish it.'- De Stem van de Ouders (translated from Dutch)'This is described by the author, Kathy Hoopmann, as an "Asperger Adventure". It is certainly an out-of-the-ordinary story with its hero, Ben an autistic schoolboy, who discovers a blue bottle which seems to make his wishes come true. Life in school is a problem for Ben who is always at odds with his teachers. Eventually, however, he is diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome and his family and friends begin to understand his behaviour. Blue Bottle Mystery is an absorbing adventure story with the added advantage that it allows children with Asperger Syndrome to read about their disability. It will assist parents and teachers to obtain some insight into this condition. It is also valuable as a teaching tool to stress the individuality of all children of all abilities. The author's love for children is apparent in her treatment of the central character and the book is highly suitable as a non-theatening bed time story. Enjoyable and absorbing, it is intended for readers in the 8-12 years age group and is printed in large easily accessible print, clearly set out in 94 pages as a paperback.'- Disability Times

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars WISHES REALLY DO COME TRUE SOMETIMES May 31 2003
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ben, a boy with an undiagnosed condition of Asperger's Syndrome endures yet another frustrating school day of teacher complaints and failure to turn in his work turns to his friend Andy. Shunned by most children because of his propensity for non sequitors and his heightened sensory modes (e.g. strong aversion for loud noises and certain smells and tastes), Ben launches on what becomes a wonderous adventure. Other boys join in Ben and Andy's digging quest and when they unearth a mysterious blue bottle, each imagines the bottle is inhabited by a genie. Each boy makes a wish individual to his needs and let's just say the results will make you smile.
Ben is a delightful character and his description of the ongoing challenges he has with Asperger's Syndrome is a welcome voice for many. Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is a neurological condition that is on the same spectrum as autism. Ben's undefined differences that impede social development were due to AS; Ben gives excellent descriptions of AS and the challenges and yet, the bonuses it has to offer.
This is a must read for everyone. Hats off to this book!
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It's been over a year since my son and I read this book together, but I am still so happy that I discovered it. I was never quite sure when or how to talk to my son about his diagnosis, but knew that the time was getting close(he was 10 yrs old). After reading this book, which had enough literal and amusing examples that my AS son enjoyed and we both laughed about, my son's only comment was, "I think I'm alot like that kid in the book, except I have friends." I smiled and closed the book. Over the next few days, my son kept referring to the boy in the book, and then point blank one day asked me if he too had Asperger's Syndrome. It was for us a really unexpected and nice way to teach him more about himself and actually using the AS term (as we'd done alot of teaching without using AS in previous years).
I'm here now to buy the sequel! I would recommend this book to children, parents, teachers, and professionals. Each child is different, so I'd recommend that parents read it first and try to imagine how their child would like it (and not just how they felt when reading it).
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By edrm
Ben had taken a real beating at school; he caught it from his cranky homeroom teacher, was bullied by Troy and Scott, and had a lot of trouble for telling the difference between the literal interpretations and the implications, which often led to misunderstanding.

But things had been gradually better since Miss Sue Browning-Lever saved Ben who Troy and Scott bullied. Then she became mellower and no longer ornery. I would have been perplexed if I had been Ben or Andy. However, they came to trust each other and after Ben's diagnosis with AS he found his life easier and more relaxing.

Certainly, most parents with challenged kids tend to be devastated when they heard their kids are impaired. But in the long run, the earlier they recognize their kids' disabilities, the earlier they may know how to cope with them. And this will encourage people with impairments to strengthen their pros and be more self-confident! And Ben was no exception. In this respect, I highly recommend you to read Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything written by Kenneth Hall and Parenting a Child with Asperger Syndrome - 200 Tips and Strategies written by Brenda Boyd, Kenneth's Mom, as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It really rocks! Sept. 23 2003
By A Customer
It really was a good book about an Asperger's adventure and a boy with AS. I'm a 9 yo boy who just got diagnosised with AS, and it was fun to read about a boy with Aspergers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Can we get the sequel, Mom?" June 8 2003
By A Customer
We finished this book tonight, and my 8-year-old son with Asperger's immediately asked me if we could get the sequel. You bet!
Wish the publisher would do a U.S. version, since some of the Aussie slang is a little hard for an American kid to understand. And my son would've liked a more thorough solution to the "mystery". But all-in-all, a very nice book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an education on understanding aspergers syndrome Dec 13 2002
By A Customer
Hi I am a 12 year old boy with aspergers syndrome my therapist gave me this book to read when I had trouble or was being silly in school today I finished reading this book it inspired me showing that changes may be hard but you have to accept them no matter how hard they are to cope with at first it will be alright.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I was somewhat disappointed with this book. Oct. 16 2002
I also decided to read this book before giving it to my son, and I'm glad that I didn't give it to him. First, the language is off (the author is Austrailian) and an American Aspie will not be comfortable reading these 'different words'. Second, I don't know any Aspie child who has such a 'understanding' friend. I was a little scared thinking that my child would want me to find this kid for him. It portrayed a relationship that just isn't real. A very dangerous thing for our children.
I won't be giving this book to my son, and I really don't know why I still have it.
Another reviewer suggested that this book might be useful for students. I would have to agree with that statement.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure" is a must-read!
... Iï¿m going to begin this ï¿reviewï¿ by saying this book was absolutely WONDERFUL! I finished it in one day (even with everyday interruptions). Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2002 by C. Guinn
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life Example
Though a fiction work, the "hero" has Asperger Syndrome and is trying to deal with the world around him. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2001 by D Harrison
1.0 out of 5 stars Negative slant on Asperger's - Not encouraging for AS kids
Fortunately, I previewed this book before reading to my Asperger's Syndrome sons. It is not written in a way that they would understand, nor would I want them to. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2001 by S. Bruner
5.0 out of 5 stars A whimsical tale with a punch
Kathy Hoopmann is an Australian from Queensland, who has a child with Asperger Syndrome. She is also an elementary school teacher. Read more
Published on June 9 2001 by Midwest Book Review
3.0 out of 5 stars Blue Bottle Mystery:An Asperger's Adventure
We were disappointed, my husband and I both read the book but do not think it would be a good book for our 11 year old (recently diagnosised) with Aspergers Syndrome. Read more
Published on May 20 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Bottle Mystery
I read the British version of this book and it is wonderful for anyone who feels like an outsider. It's about a boy diagnosed with a little known disorder called Asperger's... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2001
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