Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
Taylor Jane Simon is an eighteen-year-old girl with Asperger's Syndrome who has a refreshingly different view of the people she encounters and the life she wants to have. Young adult readers will identify with Taylor's struggle for independence and self-control, and empathize as she outlines the ways-both positive and negative-- that her Asperger's Syndrome affects her daily life. Connecting with a play by Samuel Beckett, Taylor explores a fear of solitary existence while reaching out to a world at times perplexing. Most important, Taylor wants to be seen as an individual, not as a stereotypical "person with special needs, " or a rare wild flower-images that haunt her from the past. A cameo performance by Taylor's new gerbil -- Harold Pinter-- adds further emphasis to themes of existentialism and humour.
About the author
Beverley Brenna is known for her warm, funny family stories that capture the essence of childhood and champion diversity. Her awards include an international Dolly Gray Award, a Printz Honor Book Award, and a shortlisting for the 2013 Governor General’s Award. Wild Orchid, the title book in a trilogy about a young woman on the Autism Spectrum, is currently listed on CBC’s “100 Young Adult Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian”. Bev is a professor in Curriculum Studies at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, where she teaches English Language Arts subject matter to preservice and inservice teachers. Much of Bev’s writing seeks to fill in gaps in the field of available books, and she considers voices rarely heard in children’s literature. Bev’s many years as a classroom and special education teacher offer her a clear picture of school landscapes, children, and childhood, and the years she spent at home co-parenting three sons continue to inspire new characters and themes.
"Waiting for No One has one of the most beautiful book covers that I have ever seen and it drew me to the poignant and sweet storyline that I found incredibly compelling and wonderful. the prose is beautiful and the author clearly has an in depth and personal understanding of the good things and bad things that come with Asperger's Syndrome. The author gives her main character a depth that is rich. I loved it!"
"A charming yet riveting read with a lot to think about, very highly recommended."
— The Midwest Book Review
Waiting For No OneEighteen-year-old Taylor Jane Simon is a typical teenager in most ways, except that she has Asperger’s syndrome — an Autism Spectrum Disorder that makes social interaction difficult. In this stand-alone sequel to Wild Orchid, author Beverley Brenna picks up where the previous book left off, and follows Taylor back to her home in Saskatoon where she struggles for independence by stepping out of her comfort zone and taking a biology course at the university and applying for a job.
As with the previous book, the story is narrated in Taylor’s voice. She is funny, intelligent, and honest. The desire and need for independence is a typical teen issue, and readers will immediately identify with her. She is an individual, and wants to be seen as such, rather than as dependent and incapable.
There are many aspects of normal life that confuse and challenge Taylor, but she works hard to overcome her fears, and to understand these challenges. While she does hit stumbling blocks along the way, from the beginning to the end of the book, she grows emotionally and gains confidence, inching towards the autonomy she desires.
Another strength of the novel is the way the secondary characters are used to impact her life and to support her. From the bookstore manager to the psychologist her mother forces her to see, she is met with a great deal of compassion and understanding. People don’t always understand Taylor, and are often confused or frustrated by her, but they reach out, and keep her from retreating into the solitary existence she fears.
With Waiting For No One, Brenna has created an interesting and compelling novel that resists the stereotypes so often found in this genre. This is a book that is suitable for either junior high or high school readers.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2011. Volume 34 No. 2.
Waiting for No OneIn this sequel to Wild Orchid, 18-year-old Taylor Jane moves back to Saskatoon, where she enters university and applies for a job. As Taylor struggles for independence and self control, she explains in a voice all her own how her Asperger’s syndrome affects her daily life. She wants people to see past her special needs and understand her as an individual.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.