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Literature / Asperger Adventures

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Asperger Adventures is a series of children's books by Australian author Kathy Hoopmann, each about a child with Asperger Syndrome. The first two books follow Ben Jones and his neurotypical friend Andy, while the third follows Lisa Flint, a minor character from the second book.

The books in the series:

  1. Blue Bottle Mystery (2001)
  2. Of Mice and Aliens (2001)
  3. Lisa and the Lacemaker (2002)

Asperger Adventures contains examples of:

  • The Bully: Troy and Scot, who trip Ben into the mud while he's picking up rubbish, then kick the rubbish he spilled around so he'll have to pick it up again.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of Blue Bottle Mystery takes place a year after the first book and shows Ben's dad marrying Miss Browning-Lever. Ben is glad she'll be Mrs. Jones now, because he found her old name impossible to remember. To his dismay, her married name turns out to be Mrs. Browning-Lever-Jones.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: At Granny May's birthday party, Lisa shows her her mouse Paddy, thinking she'll be interested. Instead, Granny May screams and drops her teacup.
  • Genie in a Bottle: In Blue Bottle Mystery, Ben and Andy find a corked blue bottle while digging in the garden. They make a series of wishes, not expecting any of them to come true. They start to come true anyway, and every time, a puff of smoke comes out of the bottle.
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  • Go to Your Room!: In Of Mice and Aliens, Ben and his dad get into a "Go to your room!" "But Dad...!" shouting match over Ben giving some of his family members' things to Zeke the alien without permission.
  • Hates Being Touched:
    • Ben. Troy and Scot take advantage of this by shoving him.
    • Lisa cringes away when her uncle ruffles her hair.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Ben does this in Blue Bottle Mystery when his teacher, Miss Browning-Lever, yells at him for reasons he barely understands, then becomes so enraged that she breaks the ruler on his desk.
  • It's All My Fault: Lisa's great-aunt Hannah blames herself for causing the fatal heart attack of Gwyneth, the senior maid and the titular lacemaker, by stealing a beautiful, intricate lace pattern that she hard worked incredibly hard on. Now everyone else involved is dead, so Hannah has no way of setting things right.
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  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: In Of Mice and Aliens, Ben feels uneasy because he doesn't hear any of the birds and rustling bushes that he normally does. The words "quiet, too quiet" are used. A minute later, he and Andy come across the spaceship that scared all the animals.
  • Literal-Minded: Ben. In the first scene of Blue Bottle Mystery, Miss Browning-Lever yells at him for chewing on a pen. When he says, "It's not a pen, it's a texta," she demands, "Are you trying to be smart with me, young man?" It takes Ben a second to remember that "smart" means "cheeky," not "intelligent," and the correct answer is "no."
  • Meaningful Name: Hannah Lace makes lace as a hobby.
  • Only Friend: Ben and Andy have been friends since they were in preschool, but other than that, Ben has no friends.
  • Picky Eater:
    • Ben only eats plain food. He hates food with different ingredients mushed together, like pizza.
    • Lisa likes very few foods. Most things are too lumpy, too grainy, too slippery, or too salty.
  • Security Blanket: Lisa carries a faded blue satin rag, which she stretches against her chin and rubs against her ears to calm herself.
  • Sensory Overload: In Lisa and the Lacemaker, Lisa finds her grandmother's birthday party so overwhelming that she hides under a table.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Zeke is a gray blob with eyestalks and multiple legs when Ben and Andy first see him.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Hannah Lace was once a servant girl in love with William Cotton, the son of the property owner. When their relationship became public, a local scandal erupted, and William's parents fired her for trying to marry out of her station.
  • Stock Animal Diet: In Of Mice and Aliens, Ben leaves some things out for Zeke to take back to his home planet, including a cheese sandwich. A pregnant field mouse smells the cheese and climbs into the box, beginning the great mouse plague of the starships of Celesstis.
  • This Is Reality: Ben says, "Didn't we get only three wishes?" Andy replies, "That's only in fairy books. Maybe this genie gave us all our wishes."
  • Verbal Tic: Zeke says "Zzik!" all the time.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Zeke can take on the form of anyone he sees. Ben and Andy help him create a form that's a fine enough mixture of their traits that Ben's grandmother doesn't get suspicious.
  • Working Out Their Emotions: When Lisa was younger, she used to run away from school when she got upset. The rhythm of her feet thumping on the footpath and the wind in her face made her feel calmer.


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