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Blue Bottle Mystery - The Graphic Novel: An Asperger Adventure

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This graphic novel re-telling of Kathy Hoopmann's best-selling Blue Bottle Mystery brings the much-loved fantasy story to life for a new generation of readers. The hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome (AS). When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, little do they know of the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this e This graphic novel re-telling of Kathy Hoopmann's best-selling Blue Bottle Mystery brings the much-loved fantasy story to life for a new generation of readers. The hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome (AS). When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, little do they know of the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this exciting mystery is the story of how Ben is diagnosed with AS and how he and his family deal with the problems and joys that come along with it.


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This graphic novel re-telling of Kathy Hoopmann's best-selling Blue Bottle Mystery brings the much-loved fantasy story to life for a new generation of readers. The hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome (AS). When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, little do they know of the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this e This graphic novel re-telling of Kathy Hoopmann's best-selling Blue Bottle Mystery brings the much-loved fantasy story to life for a new generation of readers. The hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome (AS). When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, little do they know of the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this exciting mystery is the story of how Ben is diagnosed with AS and how he and his family deal with the problems and joys that come along with it.

30 review for Blue Bottle Mystery - The Graphic Novel: An Asperger Adventure

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    After finishing a brilliantly written (and truly unputdownable) novel about two weeks ago, I was at a loss as to what I should pick up next. I knew it would be hard to find something that would be as good as my previous read, and thanks to my book hangover, I couldn’t seem to settle on anything. I picked up a few different genres but nothing could match the sheer brilliance of the book I’ve just finished, so I gave up after a few pages. That’s when I decided to have a quick browse on NetGalley t After finishing a brilliantly written (and truly unputdownable) novel about two weeks ago, I was at a loss as to what I should pick up next. I knew it would be hard to find something that would be as good as my previous read, and thanks to my book hangover, I couldn’t seem to settle on anything. I picked up a few different genres but nothing could match the sheer brilliance of the book I’ve just finished, so I gave up after a few pages. That’s when I decided to have a quick browse on NetGalley to see if they have any short stories or graphic novels, and came across Blue Bottle Mystery. I’m still relatively new to the world of graphic novels and manga, but when one of my friends lent me some of hers a couple of months ago, I got hooked right away. So when I came across Hoopman’s novel, I knew it would be a nice and quick read, perfect for the occasion. To be frank, I wasn’t familiar with the original novel before I started reading this, so I had no idea what to expect – but I was intrigued by the concept and was curious to see how the author would tackle the issue of Asperger Syndrome, especially in a graphic novel form. Read more >>

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I’m always impressed when an author can get inside someone’s head and give a little bit of their point of view. While this isn’t ever completely possible to do, I think the author does a decent job of it here. It’s an interesting story, though at times it seems a bit too simply-written when the story doesn’t require it (like when two adults are conversing). But I think that’s so younger minds can absorb it. And maybe it’s part of the narrative, too. Interesting that it’s written around the findi I’m always impressed when an author can get inside someone’s head and give a little bit of their point of view. While this isn’t ever completely possible to do, I think the author does a decent job of it here. It’s an interesting story, though at times it seems a bit too simply-written when the story doesn’t require it (like when two adults are conversing). But I think that’s so younger minds can absorb it. And maybe it’s part of the narrative, too. Interesting that it’s written around the finding of the blue bottle - where all of the story has something to do with the bottle; yet none of it really does. Of course, the main point is to tell the story from the POV of someone with Aspergers; and for that, I recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for a copy in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This was a very one-opening and important read! Between 1 to 2 months ago, my baby sister was diagnosed with Autism. Me and my family have been finding ways to educate ourselves about how it works and how it affects her. Though Asperger Syndrome is not completely the same, there are similarities. A lot of this hit home for me and at times it was hard to read because it was so familiar. But it was also a fun and heartwarming story. I did wish it was longer, but I still appreciate what we've got in t This was a very one-opening and important read! Between 1 to 2 months ago, my baby sister was diagnosed with Autism. Me and my family have been finding ways to educate ourselves about how it works and how it affects her. Though Asperger Syndrome is not completely the same, there are similarities. A lot of this hit home for me and at times it was hard to read because it was so familiar. But it was also a fun and heartwarming story. I did wish it was longer, but I still appreciate what we've got in this! This is a great, informative and diverse read. I recommend this to everyone!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Informative, Entertaining, and Inspirational This is a new graphic novel treatment of the author's original novel of the same name, which was published to rave reviews in 2001. It is a very successful translation/reinterpretation into graphic form and should expand the book's appeal and accessibility. We are fourteen years later, and it is probably fair to suggest that Asperger's is now much more widely recognized and understood than it was in 2001. That said, there is always room for better unde Informative, Entertaining, and Inspirational This is a new graphic novel treatment of the author's original novel of the same name, which was published to rave reviews in 2001. It is a very successful translation/reinterpretation into graphic form and should expand the book's appeal and accessibility. We are fourteen years later, and it is probably fair to suggest that Asperger's is now much more widely recognized and understood than it was in 2001. That said, there is always room for better understanding and for appreciation of the special challenges faced by those on the Asperger spectrum. So how is this as a reading experience? Well, first off it isn't really a mystery, as such. POSSIBLE VERY MILD SPOILERS. Our hero Ben and his friend Andy find a blue bottle that might or might not contain a magic genie. They make wishes that might or might not be being granted by said genie. They were very careless about wishing when they first opened the bottle so the running mystery is about them trying to remember what they wished for. Consequently, what you really have is a mild sort of fantasy that really works mostly to provide a framework for the story and to provide for surprising things to happen that require Ben to react and cope. That's fine by me because the focus here is Ben and his everyday life, not some complicated plot. We see Ben at school, interacting with other kids, relating to his Dad and Grandmom, dealing with a cranky teacher, and so on. Friend Andy is supportive up to a point. Dad is a little exasperated and clueless at the outset. Grandmom is more supportive, but unaware of Asperger Syndrome. Nowadays I would expect teachers to be alert to Asperger's, so the teacher's cluelessness seems odd, but the teacher does serve as a standin for all of the adult authority figures a kid would encounter even now and so remains a valid character. The deeper success here is that Ben learns about Asperger Syndrome, his Dad and Grandmom learn in a bit more detail about Asperger's, friend Andy learns a bit about Asperger's, and so we have a lot of teaching going on for different folks at different levels. I suspect that's why the novel was so well received at so many levels when it first came out. There's something for everyone regardless of where they fit in an Asperger's kid's life. The overall tone of the book is calm, supportive, and positive. It doesn't shy away from the pain, anger and confusion that Ben can feel in some situations, and it doesn't end all happy-peppy. It is earnest, but not heavy. It doesn't read like a lecture or a polemic, but aims rather to be informative and entertaining, and perhaps inspirational. This is tricky stuff and, happily, the author pulls it off pretty well. Certainly, I was happy to have had a chance to read this admirable effort. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Book Lender

    A short, easy to read story about Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome, and his friend Andy who find a mysterious old blue bottle buried in their school's garden. The simplistic art style, whilst not spectacular, fits well with the story. A tale about friendship, genies and being different. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy. A short, easy to read story about Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome, and his friend Andy who find a mysterious old blue bottle buried in their school's garden. The simplistic art style, whilst not spectacular, fits well with the story. A tale about friendship, genies and being different. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest opinion. The artwork in this graphic novel is very simplistic and colourful, easy to follow as targeted for middle grade. I enjoyed this Graphic Novel it was very informative on a basic level, it showed family dynamics and symptoms of aspergers. I believe this should be put in all schools for children to read, to recognise that there are illnesses out there that define people the way they are. I have onl I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest opinion. The artwork in this graphic novel is very simplistic and colourful, easy to follow as targeted for middle grade. I enjoyed this Graphic Novel it was very informative on a basic level, it showed family dynamics and symptoms of aspergers. I believe this should be put in all schools for children to read, to recognise that there are illnesses out there that define people the way they are. I have only really learnt about AS in my adult life, this could be that it's more recognised and understood now. There are several characters in this story that surround Ben and you get to see all their ways in which they communicate. Grandma is around to look after Ben when his father is working, she is very supportive and understanding and is a go between Ben and his father. The dad, is a stereotypical dad, wants his son to be good at sports and have a rough and tumble, he doesn't understand why Ben is the way he is and clearly gets frustrated when Ben can't explain himself. Andy, Ben's best friend, is a decent kid and is very tolerant but he himself also gets frustrated with Ben on occasions but sticks with him, its great to see that true friends will stick around and keep coming back. The teacher (I have forgotten her name.... it's something double-barreled) is very frustrated, she has her own problems too, but Ben can't read her emotions, he takes things too literally and is mistaken for being rude. The blue bottle and the genie is just added to make the story interesting for the kids to read, It doesn't have any real relevance to AS. This book looks at family dynamics, friendship, bullying and obviously Aspergers Syndrome. This is such an easy read, definitely one to read with kids to make them more aware or anyone that has never heard of AS as it shows all they symptoms in Ben's character. Overall I rated this 3.5 stars out of 5.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Tells the story of a few days in the life of an initially undiagnosed aspergers student, his teacher and family. I am in two minds about the book. The 'excuse' for the lack of diagnosis on the part of the family seems to be the death of the mother. At school the distraction of the teacher who is coping with the illness and then death of her mother. However the nasty portrayals of classroom scenes are probably pretty accurate where ignorance and lack of personal advocacy exists. The magical elemen Tells the story of a few days in the life of an initially undiagnosed aspergers student, his teacher and family. I am in two minds about the book. The 'excuse' for the lack of diagnosis on the part of the family seems to be the death of the mother. At school the distraction of the teacher who is coping with the illness and then death of her mother. However the nasty portrayals of classroom scenes are probably pretty accurate where ignorance and lack of personal advocacy exists. The magical element? I'm not sure about that. Winning the lottery is unrealistic and offers a panacea that just isn't going to happen - magical thinking probably forms a big part in the lives of families and individuals coping with the day to day life of special needs. On the other hand some things are sensitively dealt with - for example use of slow exposure to new experience and the employment of strategies subsequent to diagnosis. Would be interested to see how families and individuals in this situation respond to the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Monica Fastenau

    Read the full review here: http://newberyandbeyond.com/arc-round... *Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am passingly familiar with Asperger Syndrome because of my college education classes, and as far as my limited knowledge goes, this book does a great job of depicting a kid who has AS. Ben really wants to please his family, his teacher, and his classmates, but he seems to be constantly misunderstanding them and doing things wrong. When he and his frien Read the full review here: http://newberyandbeyond.com/arc-round... *Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am passingly familiar with Asperger Syndrome because of my college education classes, and as far as my limited knowledge goes, this book does a great job of depicting a kid who has AS. Ben really wants to please his family, his teacher, and his classmates, but he seems to be constantly misunderstanding them and doing things wrong. When he and his friend Andy find a bottle at school, strange things start to happen. Ben has to adjust to new things along the way, and his family learns better ways to help him with the transition. It sounds kind of preachy when you describe it, but the graphic novel format keeps the book from being a thinly disguised manual for kids. It’s short and sweet, pretty fun on its own merits, but even better because it teaches about a group of kids on the autism spectrum who are often misunderstood.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I read this graphic novel through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love graphic novels and was eager to read this one that is described as an Asperger's Adventure. This is a short, but decent graphic novel introduction to what it is like to live with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Ben has AS and him and his friend Andy find a blue bottle. Is there a genie and are their wishes being granted? All of a sudden Ben's life changes very dramatically in a short period of time. This story uses mag I read this graphic novel through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love graphic novels and was eager to read this one that is described as an Asperger's Adventure. This is a short, but decent graphic novel introduction to what it is like to live with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Ben has AS and him and his friend Andy find a blue bottle. Is there a genie and are their wishes being granted? All of a sudden Ben's life changes very dramatically in a short period of time. This story uses magical realism to convey what it is like for Ben to interact with teacher's, friends, and family as they all learn that he has Asperger's. However, this story only scratches the surface of what it is like to live with Asperger's, yet the graphic novel approach is nice. The illustrations are decent, but nothing glamorous. Overall, it is worth the short read for graphic novel enthusiasts.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Not having read the original novel I wasn't sure what to expect but this graphic novel is really good. An interesting story that really gets into the mind and thought processes of a boy with Aspergers. The allusion to his father's struggle to come to terms with his child's diagnosis and his attempts to learn how to better deal with his needs is touching. This graphic novel would make a great addition to any school library to spread awareness of Aspergers or just as a good read , would be useful Not having read the original novel I wasn't sure what to expect but this graphic novel is really good. An interesting story that really gets into the mind and thought processes of a boy with Aspergers. The allusion to his father's struggle to come to terms with his child's diagnosis and his attempts to learn how to better deal with his needs is touching. This graphic novel would make a great addition to any school library to spread awareness of Aspergers or just as a good read , would be useful for family members of Aspergers youngsters to read too to help them understand their relative's different view of the world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    I quite liked this because it presented a difficult-to-understand subject pictorially, which makes it easier for younger readers to relate. The visuals were also well-executed (in particular, the expressions and body language). It is told from both from the adult's and (Asperger) child's points of view. I quite liked this because it presented a difficult-to-understand subject pictorially, which makes it easier for younger readers to relate. The visuals were also well-executed (in particular, the expressions and body language). It is told from both from the adult's and (Asperger) child's points of view.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    This graphic novel is a cute, easy way of helping people understand autism/asperger's. It explains it without being overly simplistic or boring. It also has an actual plot to it. I'm thinking about getting it for my classroom library. This graphic novel is a cute, easy way of helping people understand autism/asperger's. It explains it without being overly simplistic or boring. It also has an actual plot to it. I'm thinking about getting it for my classroom library.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    A must read graphic novel for all those working with kids with asperger syndrome AND even those that don't. It is also a fantastic story. A must read graphic novel for all those working with kids with asperger syndrome AND even those that don't. It is also a fantastic story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Blue Bottle Mystery is about a boy named Ben, Ben had a horrible life. Why? Because almost every day he would get bullied by Troy, and his friend Scot. Also because Ben had a mean teacher that broke his ruler. One day, Andy, his best friend, and Ben were digging holes behind the school and they found a bottle that can make them have good luck. With this bottle, Ben and Andy could be the luckiest boys in the world. Ben is a brilliant kid, he always knows what to do because when he got spit on he d Blue Bottle Mystery is about a boy named Ben, Ben had a horrible life. Why? Because almost every day he would get bullied by Troy, and his friend Scot. Also because Ben had a mean teacher that broke his ruler. One day, Andy, his best friend, and Ben were digging holes behind the school and they found a bottle that can make them have good luck. With this bottle, Ben and Andy could be the luckiest boys in the world. Ben is a brilliant kid, he always knows what to do because when he got spit on he didn't just wipe it off he washed his face because he knew he would get sick he knew what to do with the bottle if I was there I would just open it but he made sure there was no danger. I was surprised by how intelligent Ben is. I felt sorry about Ben's life I mean, he has a mean teacher; Troy and Scot bully him and an all around pitiful life in general. Andy is a helpful friend, smart too. I think Andy is an emotional friend and I am happy that they are friends because they are both smart and nice boys. In fact, I wish they were brothers, they get along so well. My favorite part was when Ben and his teacher started to know each other more. At the start, I was pretty mad at his teacher. Also, I loved how it was drawn, written, and how the author made me feel that I can be lucky too. I loved how good the friendship was with Andy and Ben! The writing style makes you feel like you're in the brain of Ben. My part I didn't like was when Ben was getting bullied like I hate that people make fun of you and all that like why. In conclusion, I love this book I mean I want luck too. I should go outside right now and go dig a hole so that I can find a bottle and be lucky too. I would give this book a five out of five this was a page-turner! I love graphic novels that's probably why but I'm in love with this book it's amazing its fiction I love this. I would recommend this book to the people who like graphic novels and fantasy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

    I love how you get to see what it's like for a child with autism to deal with things everyday. Everything was framed so it could be easily understood and by that I mean how easy we could understand his feelings, emotions, and confusion by others actions and reactions. It was like being able to walk in his shoes and see how so many little things can be misunderstood or confusing. I really loved the main character but his father was the WORST. He was so mean and impatient with his son and it seeme I love how you get to see what it's like for a child with autism to deal with things everyday. Everything was framed so it could be easily understood and by that I mean how easy we could understand his feelings, emotions, and confusion by others actions and reactions. It was like being able to walk in his shoes and see how so many little things can be misunderstood or confusing. I really loved the main character but his father was the WORST. He was so mean and impatient with his son and it seemed like he didn't even want to try and understand how he felt or even listen to what he was saying. Even after his Asperger diagnosis his father still acts like a jerk often playing the victim. The teacher was pretty bad too, imagine your own child being treated like that by someone that's supposed to nurture, teach, and protect them? I understand she had stuff going on too but taking it out on literal children is maybe not the right response. The plot itself was also really good and I'm glad there are more adventures in this series but bummed they're not graphic novels...yet? Anyway, great read, would recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Frencham

    If you look at this book as a potentially interesting story, it falls a bit flat for anyone over the age of, say, 8 or perhaps 9. The writing is a bit stilted, and the story is too long to tell the mystery of the blue bottle. However, if you look at this as a graphic novel about a kid with Asperger's, to use to instruct parents and kids about what Asperger's is like, then it's an excellent book. If you look at this book as a potentially interesting story, it falls a bit flat for anyone over the age of, say, 8 or perhaps 9. The writing is a bit stilted, and the story is too long to tell the mystery of the blue bottle. However, if you look at this as a graphic novel about a kid with Asperger's, to use to instruct parents and kids about what Asperger's is like, then it's an excellent book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    P.

    I wasn't expecting the magic/fantasy element and that was a fun surprise. Otherwise a book that is designed to teach a lesson first and be a book second - I suppose the ideal audience is other middle schoolers who need to gain empathy or understanding with autistic kids. I wasn't expecting the magic/fantasy element and that was a fun surprise. Otherwise a book that is designed to teach a lesson first and be a book second - I suppose the ideal audience is other middle schoolers who need to gain empathy or understanding with autistic kids.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shyla Colt

    The representation in this made my heart happy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I think this is an awesome book both for kids with Asperger's and for kids without it--and for adults. It brings up a lot of the issues faced in terms of not being able to understand sarcasm, colloquialisms, etc., along with special interests, routine... It really touches on so many important areas that are so good to know about. And I think it's great that there's a story with a child with Asperger's as the hero. Things are solved easily, which isn't often the case in real life, but it would be I think this is an awesome book both for kids with Asperger's and for kids without it--and for adults. It brings up a lot of the issues faced in terms of not being able to understand sarcasm, colloquialisms, etc., along with special interests, routine... It really touches on so many important areas that are so good to know about. And I think it's great that there's a story with a child with Asperger's as the hero. Things are solved easily, which isn't often the case in real life, but it would be nice if it were. It does explain a lot of basics, and it's nice to know that you're not alone if you happen to be the one with Asperger's. There _are_ times when labels help because it makes you feel that you belong to a group instead of being all alone and that you don't fit in anywhere.

  21. 5 out of 5

    CB

    I really enjoyed this book! The art is fun and upbeat, but the main character is truly the strength. I was absolutely fascinated by Ben's internal monologue, and found him both intriguing and wonderfully sympathetic. The story is not maudlin about Asperger's but shows a realistic picture of a child working his way through the world. Introducing a fantastic element to it lightens the mood and will help, I think, create an appeal to kids. I also appreciated the honesty of adults working through th I really enjoyed this book! The art is fun and upbeat, but the main character is truly the strength. I was absolutely fascinated by Ben's internal monologue, and found him both intriguing and wonderfully sympathetic. The story is not maudlin about Asperger's but shows a realistic picture of a child working his way through the world. Introducing a fantastic element to it lightens the mood and will help, I think, create an appeal to kids. I also appreciated the honesty of adults working through their own understandings and confusions about Asperger's.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    Blue Bottle Mystery is a short graphic novel that tells a very youth-friendly story while also teaching readers about what Aspergers is, and showcasing some of the difficulties that people with Aspergers face. It would be a good educational book for children, but also for adults trying to learn about the condition.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Tournas

    Middle school mystery/drama in graphic novel form where the main character happens to have Asperger. Action, bullies, and a real look at how someone with Asperger's processes the world. An essential read. Middle school mystery/drama in graphic novel form where the main character happens to have Asperger. Action, bullies, and a real look at how someone with Asperger's processes the world. An essential read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna Sanders

    A fantastic graphic novel showing what it's like for a person with Asperger Syndrome. A fantastic graphic novel showing what it's like for a person with Asperger Syndrome.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great read for kids with Asperger's and especially their friends! Little bit of mystery and magic. Great read for kids with Asperger's and especially their friends! Little bit of mystery and magic.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ranaveer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Harriet

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mieka English

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

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