A boy’s face fills this book cover for Look Me In The Eye by John Elder Robinson, but what really catches your attention is his expression.
He has not only shut his eyes but is closing his eyelids as tight as possible and his mouth is clamped down in an unyielding frown.
It raises the question of ‘What’s happened to make this boy want to shut out the world like this?’
Above and below his eyes it says ‘look me in the eye’ and on his chin is ‘my life with asperger’s’. On his forehead is a testimonial in tiny print for the author by the Boston Globe and over to the side is an orange-ish starburst proclaiming that this book is a New York Times Bestseller.
All of these elements clash with each other not in a spectacular way but just enough to make it seem annoyingly off. Is this on purpose or just an unfortunate set of choices? Maybe it’s best not to know. Or maybe the bad choice of text is the reason the boy is making that face…he’s just trying to shut it all out until it goes away :p.
Okay seriously though the answer as to why he’s making a face to shut out the world comes in the description of what this book is about:
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes …had earned him the label “social deviant.”
It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome.
That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world.
For forty years he couldn’t understand why the social cues and facial expressions of others were such a foreign language to him. Add on to that things like a painful and chaotic home life during childhood and it’s no wonder that he would want to shut out the world completely.