When Camilla was only 8 years old she was diagnosed with autism. Like all autistic people she sees the world differently, but over the years she has used science to explain her life. In this non fiction book we see the world through her eyes
Like every book there will be chapters that relate to you the most.
I have spent many an hour talking (though they would say it’s a lecture) to my children about photosynthesis. I find this fascinating, I remember learning about this at school and really enjoying the subject. So naturally I went straight to this chapter. My children groaned when I read the paragraphs out to them , but as I read this out my oldest son realised that I was talking about passions people have and how this gives us energy, and when Lego was mentioned I could tell my youngest was interested.
Another of my interests is animal migration, I think this is so interesting how they naturally know when it’s time for them to move on. As a family we have watched many documentaries about this. So I was really interested in the chapter that talked about animals migrating, and it really explains well the changes we face in life, as a mother of 2 boys who have autism this chapter really stood out for me. Change is something I dread in my house, for example when we go on holiday we need to start to talk about it at least 6 months in advance. I have read this section on change many times since I’ve had the book and it’s given me so much advice and tips that I’m planning to use on my boys.
Lastly, I want to mention my husband. My husband is dyslexic and he doesn’t enjoy reading, in fact he never reads because of this. Anyway my copy of the book disappeared one day and when I asked my husband if he’d seen it, he admitted that he had it and was reading it. I couldn’t believe it, he happily read all of the book, and when I asked him about it he told me how much he enjoyed it.
Both myself and my husband both agreed we’d really like to meet Camilla and talk about the Book with her, so Camilla if you’re ever in Suffolk and you fancy a cup of tea you know where you are welcome.
From the introduction of this book alone I was completely engrossed in how much detail was packed into every paragraph. There has clearly been a huge amount of time, resources, and research poured into this book, and the narrative tone tells readers this is a labour of love.
Told from the perspective of Millie (Camilla), and referencing her own personal experiences all the way from her childhood through to adult life, we get to see what life was (and is) like growing up with Autism, and how Millie’s love of science helped her form a better understanding of a world that often felt confusing and disorientating. The application of science in every day scenarios is prevalent in this book, and is another unique detail that is worthy of reference. It makes the book one that I would highly recommend, not only because it helps give you a perspective of life growing up with autism – the good and the bad, and allows readers an invaluable insight as well as being able to learn empathy along the way. You also form a great deal of respect for Camilla Pang, and all of the hurdles she has overcome, and her ultimate success as a Dr and Author too.
As Helen says in her write up of Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You, there are so many incredibly interesting topics covered in this book, all in the style of the chapters readers will be familiar with through reading fiction. In doing so it gives the book a comfortable, familiar vibe that readers will love. Yes this is jam packed with facts, science and information to learn from, and yet the way it is laid out makes it feel more personal, and subsequently more appealing. This is such a clever idea given that this is a guide to growing up, and includes everything you could want to educate children on, which often means topics that make us feel uncomfortable. The warm, raw, personal content included between the science is what gives readers the ability to connect to the narrative.
It is easy to see how readers of all ages will find this book engaging and inspiring. There is so much to learn in so many ways from this one book alone. You really do look at things differently as a consequence, including every day tasks like cooking pasta! I whole heartedly recommend this book for primary schools, and secondary schools too, and I hope that Camilla writes more books in this format in the future too.
For more insight into Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You check out the rest of the blog tour via information on the banner below. The book is available to purchase from all good booksellers now.