Book Review · OnlineBookClub

That Place of Knowledge by Philip Alan Shalka

Book Cover

Genre: Fiction/Psychology/Autism
Publication Date: August 25, 2016
Rating: 5-star-review out of 5
OBC Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
Themes: Self-Acceptance, Persistence, Finding Happiness

This book has been officially reviewed for OnlineBookClub.

The review below is a shorter alternate version of my official OBC one. If you’re curious, you can find my OBC official review here: That Place of Knowledge

downloadSabre is a unique dog. He isn’t a show dog or even one that can do a million tricks. His special job is being an assistant dog to young Philip, who has autism and is non-verbal.

One day, the pair discover a hidden trap door that leads to another world – the world of Ancient Greece. In here, Sabre notices how at ease Philip feels. In fact, in this structured environment, Philip is able to have in-depth conversations with none other than the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. This is a world where Philip can understand and can finally be himself.


What grabbed my attention to this book was the boy with autism. Why? Because I used to teach children with autism and absolutely loved them! There is something about the unique way of thinking, or perhaps it’s the innocence, or their ability to be devoted to a single subject/topic/hobby that warms my heart. Or maybe it’s their unique sense of humor or the peace they bring to my heart. Whatever the reason (perhaps all that are mentioned), I love being in a classroom with children with autism. 

I love how the perspective of this story is told through the dog’s eyes. Since the dog doesn’t verbally communicate, Sabre was more of an observing participant. This allowed Philip to shine as he is able to communicate in the Ancient Greek world. Finding happiness, acceptance, and persistence are the themes that can be found throughout the read.

One of other favorite parts are the corridors Philip sees. Each corridor represented a different area of study – science, math, politics, etc. The possibilities are endless and the doorways are just the beginning. It is easy to see that these corridors represent Philip’s growing mind.

Most of the book is dialogue, which to me makes sense since in Philip’s regular world he is nonverbal. There are a few commas missing here and there, but the writing is concise and easy-to-follow.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read and its message. To end this review, I will mention that the author of this short read is a young man who has autism, which makes this read even more meaningful.

Yes, I would. To those who would like a glimpse of someone who has autism and would like to learn a bit more of this unique trait.

2 thoughts on “That Place of Knowledge by Philip Alan Shalka

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