Cover image for The mind tree : a miraculous child breaks the silence of autism
Title:
The mind tree : a miraculous child breaks the silence of autism
Author:
Mukhopadhyay, Tito Rajarshi.
Edition:
First North American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Arcade Pub., [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xii, 212 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781559706995
Format :
Book

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PS3613.U39 M56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Now 15 years old, the Bengali boy known as "Tito" wrote the texts collected in this book between the ages of eight and 11. That fact would be remarkable in itself, given their exquisite beauty and concision in describing the world of their author ("the cobweb of uncertainty remained"), but Tito's severe autism, diagnosed when he was three, makes them little short of miraculous. Tito's mother Soma taught him to write in Bengali and in English by working with him intensively over years. While there have been skeptics of Tito's writing ability (as documented in 60 Minutes and Good Morning America features), the experience of reading the book together with testimony from psychiatrist Lorna Wing convinces that Tito wrote it himself. It documents, with patient and poetic clarity, the experience of not fitting in, of finding the world beautiful, of having trouble making oneself understood-in short, of life as most people experience it. (Oct.) Forecast: A 35,000 first printing is a fair bet on this book's appeal beyond the autism community, to parents and kids who have responded to Mattie Stepanek and other child writers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

As the subject of stories on 60 Minutes and in the New York Times and People magazine, Mukhopadhyay, now 15, is internationally known for doing what was before thought impossible: born and raised in India, the severely autistic boy (he was, in fact, mute) was taught to write and communicate. Between eight and 11, he wrote this book, which describes his childhood, his feelings, and the training that he received from his mother, in turn providing what some have called a "map" to the autistic mind. Mukhopadhyay uses a fairly difficult style that could be described as artificially elegant. Reminiscent of "scripted" language (that is, words and phrases that autistic children read or hear and use as their own), his prose sounds unnatural for a young boy and could represent not only borrowed words but also borrowed meaning and feelings. The book would have been far stronger had a coauthor explained what Mukhopadhyay was experiencing and how others saw his condition. Despite these shortcomings, this child's perspective is recommended for public and academic libraries with comprehensive Autistic Spectrum Disorders collections. For more information on Mukhopadhyay, see his web site (www.cureautismnow.com/tito).-Corey Seeman, Univ. of Toledo Libs., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.