Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure – Kathy Hoopmann is the author of the Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure. The book centers around the character of a child, Ben who has Asperger’s syndrome, and his adventures with best friend Andy. The book starts with Ben sitting in the classroom and being reprimanded by his teacher Mrs Brwomning-Lever, after a misunderstanding due to his Asperger’s. As a result of what happens, he has to go on litter duty and tidy up the rubbish in the younger children’s playground.
However in doing so, he finds a blue bottle, and so the adventure begins. The book’s blurb reads.
“Nothing is quite the same after Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard. What is the strange wisp of smoke that keeps following them around? What mysterious forces have been unleashed? Things become even more complicated when Ben is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure is great fun to read and will keep you guessing until the end.”
Although this book is aimed towards children, I believe that anyone of any age would benefit by reading it. It is a simple story well told, and sheds some insight into the world of Asperger’s and how it must be, for a child to be growing up with the condition. However, as well as being educational, it’s a really enchanting and enticing story. You want to keep on reading to find how what happens at the end.
All of the characters within the book have an important role to play. There is Ben’s dad, who is adjusting to life as a single parent after the death of his wife, as well as having to come to terms with the fact that his son may be on the autistic spectrum. The grandmother, and her caring role for both Ben and her son, is equally touching and insightful. The story focuses on family dynamics and friendships and how Asperger’s can affect all of this, while centering around the famous Blue Bottle.
‘Unfortunately our world tends to put people into nice neat boxes. If you are sporty, then you are popular, if you are ‘different’ then you are an outcast. As a teacher, nothing upset me more than to see bright, intelligent, funny and interesting children being bullied or ignored because they didn’t fit in with ‘acceptable’ social patterns. As people with Asperger Syndrome have problems with communication and understanding the unwritten ‘laws’ around them, they are prime targets for misunderstanding. I wanted to write a book that showed that kids who are different are amazing individuals and their input into our lives, if we let them, is unique and worthy.’
What is really exciting is that Jessica Kingsley Publishers will be releasing a comic version of the novel, Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure, some time before Christmas. Rachael Smith, creator of House Party, will be illustrating the graphic novel.
Kathy Hoopmann’s website can be found here http://www.kathyhoopmann.com/
The book can be found on the JKP website: http://www.jkp.com/uk/blue-bottle-mystery.html