The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler

The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler

Paul Collins
Celapene Press, $14.95

The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler seems to have two plots. In one a boy is trying to find his mother who has left home in a mysterious fashion. In the other, a boy finds life very difficult to understand and doesn’t quite fit in to society.

Although it is not spelled out, Toby, who is nicknamed Milo, appears to have Asperger Syndrome — a condition that affects the way a person communicates and forms relationships.

Paul Collins writes: “It was always a mystery to him what other people were thinking. He would try to work it out from the expressions in their faces — for instance, his dad’s red blotchy look meant ‘angry thinking’ — but for the most part these made no sense to Milo.”

He also has unusual mathematical abilities, only one friend (who speaks in “mangled” proverbs) and seems to be less stressed than expected when in situations that most people wound find alarming, such as being interrogated by police who think he is a murderer.

The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler is suitable for children aged 9-12. It’s beautifully written and very entertaining.

Some of the characters are delightfully malicious, such as Ginger, the bad tempered girl with diabetes, who helps Toby find his mother and her father. Other characters are entertaining merely by their bewilderment in their dealings with Toby.

I really enjoyed this book.

By Katy Gerner

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