on July 17, 2009
I purchased this book and "Blue Bottle Mystery" for my son and had him read both prior to his appointment with the psychologist (which was to explain to him that he had been diagnosed with Aspergers). I recommend reading the blue bottle mystery first then mice and aliens; this way it is in order. My son loved the books, and it was an easy way of talking about Aspergers. After reading the first book, he stated that he thought Ben was a lot like him, and he could not wait to read mice and aliens. He loved it so much, once he started reading, he did not stop until he was done the book. Now he is wanting the third book - Lisa and the Lacemaker.
I recommend this book. My son is 8 years old.
on September 22, 2008
I guess Kathy Hoopmann quite specifically tells you the following characteristics of Asperger syndrome(AS):
1. People with AS easily get confused when things change without notice.
2. They take everything literally, but don't understand the implications.
3. They are really into their own interests, especially net surfing and playing alone.
4. They aren't good enough to understand social cues, other people's feelings, unwritten rules, and non-verbal communication.
5. They may hurt others even unless they intend to.
This story is not only for Aspies(People with AS) but parents, teachers, friends, bosses,and colleagues who often deal with Aspies. As long as NT(=neuro-typical) people understand the 5 characteristics above, they will find it easier to interact with Aspies.
Particularly, No.5 is extremely important for educating and parenting AS kids. Ben gave Zeke what his family members needed because Ben thought Zeke wanted them. "How would you feel if we gave your computer away to a man we just met because he said he wanted one?" - I felt Sue hit the nail right on the head! This is exactly what you must keep in mind. Ben certainly didn't mean to upset their family and wanted to please Zeke, but he got into trouble after his family found it. So I bet the story tells us how to learn from mistakes and stop making the same mistakes again.
Prof. Tony Attwood said in the interview with Dr. Michelle Garnett , "When you deal with the people with Asperger's syndrome, it's a treasure." This book reminded me of the interview, which encouraged me to deepen my understanding on both the pros and cons of AS. Therefore, as an adult Aspie, please don't alienate Aspies just because they are different from other people! And I would like you to know that they have talents to improve their potentials especially like No.3.
Finally, don't label the story 'childish' just because it's for AS kids!
on February 26, 2003
It isn't easy trying to keep child with Asperger's Syndrome attention. However, this book managed to do just that. My son is 9 years old and although he loves to read a variety of non fiction books, fictional ones seem to elude his interest. He
actually looked forward to reading a chapter a day, and even asked if there was another book available like this one he could read. Kudos to Kathy Hoopmann on a wonderful story.
on November 21, 2002
Ever since our son was diagnosed with very high functioning Asperger's less than a year ago, we have included him in discussions and reading about the syndrome. Many kids with Asperger's, our son included, gain comfort with their diagnosis by approaching it with intellectual curiosity. However, there's nothing like a fun story with lots of social skills situations to illustrate some of the challenges people with Asperger's may face and open up discussion possibilities. "Of Mice and Aliens," (the title makes Steinbeck fan, Mom, giggle)is a gently written story that includes lot of issues that are important to children with and without Asperger's syndrome. My son negotiated an extended bedtime so we could finish the book in one sitting. Once finished, he wrote his name in the book, put in in his school backpack and announced that he planned to share it with his teacher and discuss her using it in class to talk about his Asperger's with his classmates. "I'm like two of the characters in the book: Ben AND Zeke (the alien)--a little of each!" We found the book has a nice balance to the challenges and positive side of Asperger's. Some of the Australian/British words (for example, "ring" for the verb, "telephone") just gave us an opportunity to talk about different meanings of words and how easy it is to be misunderstood. We are ordering Hoopmann's other 2 books in the series and look forward to more.
on January 3, 2002
Asperger Syndrome is a milder variant of Autism. It is characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. Common symptoms include peculiar speech; clumsiness; and difficulty in understanding other people's meanings, intentions, and feelings. In Kathy Hoopman's unique novel for young readers, Of Mice And Aliens, we are introduced to Ben, who enjoys working with computers, and his Asperger friend Lucy is fascinated by mice. When an alien named Zeke from the planet Celesstis4 lands in Ben's backyard adventure ensues as the alien knows nothing about Earth's rules and norms -- to which been can clearly relate! With Ben trying to manage his Asperger Syndrome and Zeke trying to learn about life on earth, things can and do get complicated! Of Mice And Aliens is an entertaining way for kids to learn about this unusual disability in a non-threatening story and is highly recommended for both school and community library collections.