Three teens — a sociopath, a budding psychopath, and an Aspie — walk into the high school cafeteria.
A gun goes off.
That’s the high concept behind Colin Fischer, written by Ashley Edward Miller and Jack Stentz and published by Razorbill in 2013. Colin is the Aspie, a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome. He is on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum, with an IQ of 175, but his life coach has taught him not to boast, not even when he’s being called a retard. He hates being touched (even by his parents), doesn’t know how to lie, and needs cue cards to try to understand what emotions go with different facial expressions. He is starting high school without his shadow, the aide who helped him navigate the complex social landscape in middle school.
The book is filled with three-dimensional characters including:
- Colin, a new and different Sherlock Holmes, who uses a trampoline to calm his nerves
- Colin’s concerned parents, who bounce between shock and pride when their son tells his very first lie
- A younger brother tired of playing second-fiddle to Colin’s special needs
- A teen girl whose touch does not exactly repel Colin, even if he isn’t sure why
- Wayne, a boy whose brutal home life is almost guaranteed to turn him into a psychopath, or at least a long-term prison inhabitant, by the time he is an adult