Book Review of Different: The Story of an Outside-the Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him

Favorite books become like good friends. Come meet my newest friends.

Sally Clarkson and her son Nathan really caught my interest with their book Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him. I had heard of Sally Clarkson before and appreciated her view on making the home the place where children learn their most important values. It was eye opening to hear Nathan’s point of view, especially when he was a young child turning upside down on the couch as he tried yet again to focus on the story being read. This book gave me new insight into how Sally was able to find ways to include her outside-the-box son in their daily homeschool reading time by providing him coloring options or a puzzle to focus on while she was reading aloud.

Previous to this book, Sally Clarkson’s love of homeschooling seemed so far away from my daily experience of managing my two dyslexic ADHD boys, my other son who loves reading books as much as I do, and trying to find ways to develop their gifted and talented strengths. However during quarantine with my three boys doing online school for three months and with the possible requirement of doing online school again in fall, this book gave me courage and comfort that there were ways to make homeschool adaptable for all of my boys. This book would be a great read whether you are choosing to homeschool or not.

Sally Clarkson shared her honesty about being emotionally drained while trying to manage her outside-the-box son and shared ways that she was able to emotionally recharge. Nathan shared how his contant desire to ask questions to understand the world could put him at odds with many adults who perceived this as disrespectful. If you want to understand the brilliant mind of an outside-the-box child and to learn how to keep your mind at peace while managing chaos, you should read this book.

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