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A Different Sort of Normal


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The beautiful, and beautifully illustrated, true story of one girl's journey growing up autistic, and the challenges of navigating the 'normal' world around her

About the Author

Abigail Balfe (Author, Illustrator)
Abigail is a Brighton-based writer, illustrator and creative producer. Original storytelling has always been at the heart of Abigail's career and she has spent a decade leading social media campaigns for some of the biggest TV & entertainment clients in the world. Abigail also used to perform stand-up comedy and won several tiny trophies for her onstage humour; which involved life-size illustrations, ridiculous songs and rambling stories about her family.


A funny, fascinating illustrated memoir that conveys - via joyous tangential leaps, vivid doodles and informative notes - how it felt to grow up autistic and undiagnosed . . . a rewarding and highly entertaining read

I REALLY love it. It's the book I wish I'd had when I was a kid (I'd have known I was autistic immediately, right down to the cats). Buy it for your kids, your parents, your grandparents. Mostly buy it for yourself
*Holly Smale*

*The I Paper*

A hugely engaging, funny and informative account of being neurodivergent

This book is what I needed as a kid! Empathetic, joyful and beautifully authentic. I loved it!
*Elle McNicoll, author of A Kind of Spark*

Funny, poignant and wise, with a rich seam of understanding and empathy . . . one of the best children's non-fiction books I've read in a long time
*The Bookseller*

Insightful, accessible and easy to navigate, this is an essential book for autistic and allistic (non-autistic) readers of all ages

An amazing, life-changing hug of a book I wish I had when I was growing up. It's funny, eye-opening and supremely reassuring and an important, myth-busting look into autism and how that experience can vary so much. For anyone and EVERYONE who has ever felt different. Time to reclaim it and celebrate it
*Rashmi Sirdeshpande*

This book is a great explainer, full of empathy for different situations, which explodes many misconceptions about autistic people along the way! I wish I had had this available many years ago when teaching an autistic child on a one-to-one basis
*Love Reading 4 Schools*

What a difference Abigail Balfe's new book is going to make for so many people! A Different Sort of Normal is a wonderful blend of humour, information & reassuring comfort
*Emma Perry*

Highly illustrated, beautiful and an essential book for young autistic people
*Lizzie Huxley-Jones*

It is an outrageously beautiful, interesting, quirky, personal, funny introduction to autism. It has super gorgeous illustrations and details on every page, and covers SO MANY important topics.
*NeuroWild (Em Hammond) an autistic and ADHD speech pathologist, illustrator and advocate*

Your book means so much to me and others - it was like reading about my own life, even down to the special interests, as we are a similar age! Such an important, accessible and wonderful book.
*Emma Reynolds, author, illustrator and founder of #kidlit4climate campaign*

I wish I could go back in time and hand deliver A Different Sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe to my younger self. But even thought I can't, the Lucy of now very much appreciates feeling seen and understood and is having to stop herself from tearing up.
*Lucy Powrie, author of The Paper & Hearts Society series*

It is honest, real and downright brilliant. Abigail writes in such a brilliant creative way that really will draw in readers of all ages. Seriously, ever since I discovered this book I knew it was going to be special, that it would go places. It’s award winner worthy, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this about any book.
*Louise Gooding, author of Wonderfully Wired Brains*

How dyslexic-friendly is it? This is probably the most accessible & engaging book I have ever read. The authors' creativity and skill for illustrations (she did them all herself!) and explaining things makes it fun, pleasing to the eye and enjoyable.
*Dyslexic Reviews*

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