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Wild Orchid

Narrator

Chrisine Ghawi

Synopsis

Taylor Jane Simon is 18 years old and spending the summer with her mother in Prince Albert National Park. The holiday has been planned so Taylor's mother can spend time with her latest boyfriend, Danny, and work in the pizza restaurant near the park that Danny runs. Taylor would just as soon stay at home in Saskatoon, but because she suffers from an autistic condition called Asperger's Syndrome, she can't stay on her own. Taylor's mother encourages her daughter to explore the park's possibilities on her own. For Taylor, whose life experience has been seriously limited, this means facing the test of meeting new people who work in the park's nature center–and facing it alone. Summer also holds out the possibility of finding her own boyfriend, though Taylor isn't quite sure what that may involve. What she discovers will change her life forever.

Written as an epistolary novel, Wild Orchid is frank but optimistic, literal yet innocent. A courageous wit attends Taylor's gradual emergence as her own person, and the reader will find the exploration of Taylor's mind a revealing and heartwarming encounter.

Reviews

"Through Taylor’s delightfully straightforward journal entries, we get a candid look into the mind and heart of a very bright, self-aware young woman who is also autistic. Experiencing the world from her point of view is at once revelatory and thought-provoking, touching and amusing. Taylor’s story is a pleasure to read, filled as it is with honesty, humour and insight." — Lisa Doucet, Canadian Children’s Book News

Awards

  • Shortlisted for a Young Adult Book Award by the Canadian Library
  • Association, a Manitoba Our Choice Award, an Ontario Library
  • Association White Pine Award, and Saskatchewan’s Silver Birch
  • Award as well as a Saskatchewan Book Award
  • New York Public Library’s list of Best Books for the Teen Age.
  • CCBC starred selection