Temple Grandin


Title of Book: Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery

GoodReads Rating: 3.98


This biography is a brief, but fascinating, look into the life of an autistic woman, Temple Grandin, who revolutionized the American cattle and meat packing industries. The book is a chronological narrative which begins with Grandin’s childhood. Throughout the book, the author includes photographs and sketches of Grandin’s designs.

APA Reference of Book:

Montgomery, S. (2012). Temple Grandin. New York, NY: HMH Books for Young Readers.

My Impressions: 

This book could work for both pleasure reading and research. It is an interesting biography to read for pleasure. However, if one were researching autism or the meat industry in the United States, this book would be an excellent source. The author includes a long reference list on page 134-6 of the book, which contains several books, articles, websites, and films about both of these topics. The author’s purpose is to argue two items: autistic people are gifted, not handicapped, and all animals should be treated with respect. It is an emotionally inspiring book as the reader feels ashamed at the way people treated Grandin because of her autism. In addition, the reader feels horror when realizing how animals were butchered before Grandin put an end to it. Thus, readers are inspired to treat both people and animals in more respectfully and humanely.

Professional Review:

Gr 6-8 — Temple Grandin, who has autism, is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an expert on cruelty-free cattle facilities. She sees her autism not as a disability, but rather as a different way of thinking and communicating that makes her especially able to understand animals and their needs. Grandin thinks visually, as do animals. Sy Montgomery’s book (Houghton Harcourt, 2012) shows how she overcame the odds and conquered the obstacles in her path. Of special interest is the advice she offers to children on the autism spectrum, found on the last track of the audiobook. In the print version, her life and experiences are highlighted with numerous sidebars, photographs, and diagrams that don’t translate well into audiobook format. However, when paired with the book, the audio version would be a wonderful addition to collections serving children on the autism spectrum as well as for libraries looking for excellent biographies of women. Narrator Meredith Mitchell recreates Grandin’s flat, gravelly tone in the liberally sprinkled quotes that make up much of the story. — Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston

Brownson, A. (2012). Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. School Library Journal, 58(9), 70.

Library Uses:

This would be a fun book for a show and tell. Students in book club could come to school dressed as the person in their favorite biography, such as this one about Temple Grandin. They could then tell the other members about the book and her life.


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