In High School Dropout to Harvard, John Rodrigues gives us a humor filled, autobiographical account of learning from the perspective of a boy who doesn’t fit the mold of an ideal student. As a young boy with tons of energy and enthusiasm, he loved kindergarten, but once he entered first grade and beyond, he found the traditionally linear school setting to be overwhelming and lacking the freedom to allow him express his creativity. After using humor and avoidance to cope with his dyslexia and poor academic achievement, he ultimately decided to drop out of high school and find a job. It wasn’t until he began working as an ice sculptor that he began to find acceptance and realized that his way of thinking and learning could be used as a strength. To the surprise of many, he ultimately turned things around for himself and found success as a student at a prestigious university.
Mr. Rodrigues clearly and fairly demonstrates that our traditional school system does not always serve every style of learner. He backs up his own personal experiences with research, peppered with good-natured humor. Despite his own struggles, the author turned what could be a painful subject into a hopeful read that approaches dyslexia and a few other disabilities with a positive spin, demonstrating that our so called disabilities can serve to provide us with a different perspective rather than just be thought of as a hindrance.