April is Autism Acceptance Month. These books, featuring children on the autism spectrum, will boost awareness and discussion in your class. And they’re also just great stories to read at any time!
“A skillful and sympathetic portrayal of neurodivergent children.” —Kirkus Reviews
Henry, a boy on the autism spectrum, marches to the beat of his own green thumb. Most days, he doesn’t notice how different he is from the other kids, but some days he does and it’s hard. His way of being in the world has both its challenges and its strengths. When his class goes on a trip to the gardens, Henry’s knowledge of the flora and fauna show everyone that his unique interests are really special.
“The solid writing delivers a straightforward and charming plot.” —Kirkus Reviews
Eleven-year-old Charlie Dembinski likes to keep his life organized and quiet. This is a challenge when you live on a farm where your mother runs a veterinary clinic for the local livestock, neighbors’ pets and sometimes rescued wildlife. To complicate Charlie’s orderly life even further, his mother hires a bookkeeper to live on the farm who brings along her daughter, Amy Ma. And Amy is anything but quiet!
“Kerz is brilliant at describing…challenges from Aaron’s perspective.” —Quill & Quire, starred review
Aaron is anxiously waiting for his father to return for the first time since Aaron’s mother’s death eight years earlier. Aaron works hard with a counselor at school, but he still has problems getting along with and understanding other kids, and he’s worried that his dad will think he’s weird.
“[Alice’s] difficulties, along with her steadfast courage, are effectively depicted…” —Kirkus Reviews
Alice doesn’t like noise, smells or strangers. She does like rules. Lots of rules. Nobody at her new school knows she is autistic, and soon Alice finds herself in trouble because the rules here are different. When she meets Megan in detention, she doesn’t know what to make of her. Megan doesn’t smell, she’s not terribly noisy, and she’s not exactly a stranger. Alice starts to think of Megan as a friend. But when Megan reveals that she wants to run away, Alice isn’t sure what to do. Will she have to break the rules to help her new friend?
“There’s a lot packed into this slim book: lessons about compassion and understanding, likeable characters and a story that keeps the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next.” —Atlantic Books Today
Max knows his mom can’t afford to send him to summer camp. But he really, really wants to go. He needs a break from looking after his autistic brother, Duncan. And from his mom’s new boyfriend. He is surprised when his mom says that he can go after all. But there’s a catch. There are spots available at the camp for families with special needs. A grant would cover Duncan’s fees, and Max could attend at no charge. But only if he goes as Duncan’s escort.
“Well-presented and believable on every level.” —Resource Links
Randi wants to be an actress and is excited about practicing her craft in drama class, so she is devastated to learn the program has been cut. When her friends put together a successful proposal to have drama class taught as an extracurricular activity, Randi is thrilled—until reality sinks in. Extracurriculars are scheduled after school, and after school, Randi is expected to take care of her brother, Toby, who is autistic. Will Randi have to choose between her passion and her family?
“Are you Seeing Me? is a beautifully-written and engaging coming-of-age novel.” —Canucks Autism Network
It’s been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory by going on an epic road trip to the Pacific Northwest.
For more book suggestions, visit the Orca website.