Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism

"Bad Animals … offer(s) a sceptical, darkly humorous take on autism lacking in most of the literature out there…. I’d need a neck brace had I nodded every time Yanofsky described a situation I could relate to."

- Emily Donaldson, The Globe and Mail.  Read the whole review.

"I love books where the author has the ability to make me laugh out loud one moment and fill up with tears the next. (Bad Animals) does all that, and more. It is reflective, touching, humorous and heartbreaking. It is a memoir about life, written by an extremely talented author."

- Kelly Wilton, Montreal Families.   Read the whole review.

"If you want a highly readable, informative and, dare say, entertaining telling of what a family, and a marriage especially, goes through when hit with autism spectrum disorders, look no further."

- James Manishen, The Winnipeg Free Press . Read the whole review.

"With self-deprecating humor and searing honesty... Yanofsky reveals the painful frustration and the powerful bond of love between him, his wife and their 11-year-old autistic son, Jonah. An eloquent memoir."

- Kirkus Reviews Read the whole review.

"Joel Yanofsky has written a staggeringly painful and candid account of trying to cope with his son's autism.... an essential (story) for both parents of autistic kids and those would understand more about (autism)."

- The Sudbury Star 

"Joel Yanofsky has taken on just about the hardest of literary tasks, writing about life with an autistic child without succumbing either to sentimentality or bitterness -- producing a book that seems both truthful, in its refusal to put too bright a face on a hard reality, and tender, in its insistence on the mysteries of love."

- Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First and Paris to the Moon

"Bad Animals is a father’s memoir about life with his autistic child... Dusted with despair and disappointment but buoyed by gratitude and hints of hope, Yanofsky shares his evolving emotions and relationship with Jonah as frustration and self-pity slowly give way to acceptance and joy. Success is measured in very small steps. Without being preachy, Yanofsky imparts some valuable advice. He stresses that autism is not the parents’ fault and that love and patience combine to help mothers and fathers step up to the challenge of their child’s illness. Caring for an autistic child can be associated with a sharp or steep learning curve. Yanofsky provides a welcome perspective on autism and fatherhood."

- Booklist

"Written with humor and lots of self-criticism, Yanofsky’s candid look at his family’s daily struggle and his expectations for his child’s future prompts his realization that he could be a better father and husband. VERDICT An entertaining memoir that also gives factual information about autism. It should appeal to parents of children with high-functioning autism as well as those new to the disorder."

- Library Journal

More Reviews

Bad Animals Joel Yanofsky a father's accidental education in autism, Books and Breakfast, Montreal 2011 - A Line of Crows

Joel Yanofsky: Being a better father in order to be a better character - National Post

Radio Interviews and Podcasts

The Coffee Klatch - Bad Animals by Joel Yanofsky
Jun 26, 2011 ... Bad Animals Joel Yanofsky writes of a father's struggle to enter his son's world, the world of autism, using the materials he knows best: self-help books, ... | All in a Weekend | Bad Animals
Apr 9, 2011 ... Bad Animals. Montreal writer Joel Yanofsky has written a new book about living with autism. Joel's son Jonah is autistic, and in his new ...

RCI // Culture corner - Joel Yanofsky's - Bad Animals
Apr 25, 2011 ... Newspaper columnist and author Joel Yanofsky tells us about his latest book "Bad Animals - A father's accidental education in autism. ...

Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism

badanimalsJoel Yanofsky tried for years to start this memoir. "It's not just going to be about autism," he told his wife, Cynthia. "It's going to be about parenthood and marriage, about hope and despair, and storytelling, too."