World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd. Here are twelve of the great resources available in the Vanier LC. Synopsis provided by the publishers.
un/FAIR by Steven Harper (2016) It’s difficult enough to live in the neighborhood “freakazoid” house. It’s even more difficult when you’re autistic and neither your family nor best friend really understands you. So when Ryan November wakes up on his eleventh birthday with the ability to see the future, he braces himself for trouble. But even his newfound power doesn’t help him anticipate that the fair folk-undines, salamanders, gnomes, and sylphs-want him dead, dead, dead. Ryan races to defend himself and his family against unrelenting danger from the fairy realm so he can uncover the truth about his family history-and himself. Except as Ryan’s power grows, the more enticing the fairy realm becomes, forcing him to choose between order and chaos and power and family. And for an autistic boy, such choices are never cut and dry.
Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010) Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.
Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is.
By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy’s struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
My Friend Has Autism by Amanda Tourville (2010). My friend Zack has autism. But that doesn’t matter to us. We talk about airplanes, build models, and enjoy hanging out at each other’s house. I’m glad Zack is my friend!
All About My Brother by Sarah Peralta (2002) This is an invaluable contribution to helping typically developing children understand that a child with autism is a child first, and is someone interesting to know. Sarah gives insight into the sibling relationship in a way only a child can do it. Through her simple depictions of her brother Evan s everyday behavior, Sarah encourages others to approach autism without fear or pity. The effects of her book will live long beyond the last pages, as Sarah invites her young readers to share ideas for how to live with siblings or classmates who have autism spectrum disorders. The book is heart-warming and introspective and the writing style makes it appropriate for children and adults alike.
Ian’s Walk by Laurie Lears (1998) As Tara and Julie take Ian along on their walk to the park, Julie describes how Ian acts differently from most people, showing no interest, for example, in the food or customers in Nan’s diner and paying attention only to the rotating ceiling fan. Admirably patient with Ian, Julie nevertheless grows angry with his seemingly stubborn ways. Yet her close observations of her brother serve her well when Ian wanders away. By thinking of what Ian likes to do, Julie finds her brother and ushers him home again. Through its simple plot, the story conveys a complex family relationship and demonstrates the ambivalent emotions Julie feels about her autistic brother.
Armond Goes to a Party by Nancy Carlson (2104) Armond doesn’t want to go to Felicia’s birthday party. Parties are noisy, disorganized, and smelly—all things that are hard for a kid with Asperger’s. Worst of all is socializing with other kids. But with the support of Felicia and her mom, good friends who know how to help him, he not only gets through the party, but also has fun. When his mom picks him up, Armond admits the party was not easy, but he feels good that he faced the challenge—and that he’s a good friend. A great book for anyone to learn about coping with autism or Asperger’s.
Looking After Louis by Leslie Ely (2004) A young girl sits next to a boy named Louis at school. Louis has autism, but through imagination, kindness, and a special game of soccer, his classmates find a way to join him in his world. Then they can include Louis in theirs.
The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum. For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
“This sweet and thoughtful novel chronicles Bat’s experiences and challenges at school with friends and teachers and at home with his sister and divorced parents. Approachable for younger or reluctant readers while still delivering a powerful and thoughtful story” (from the review by Brightly.com, which named A Boy Called Bat a best book of 2017).
Anthony Best by Devene Fahy (2013) Anthony Best is not like the other kids in his neighborhood. He screams at loud noises, doesn’t like to be called “Tony,” spins around in circles to have fun, and throws sand at kids in the sandbox. Other kids laugh at silly knock-knock jokes, but not Anthony; he simply stands and stares. And instead of giggling, he flaps his hands when he is happy. Anthony has Asperger’s syndrome, which makes him see the world in a different way. But his friend Hannah knows that although Anthony is different and doesn’t play like other kids, he has something very special inside—something that makes him “the best.” When Anthony receives a new piano, his hidden talent is revealed.
Isaac and his Amazing Asperger Superpowers by Melanie Walsh (2017) A groundbreaking picture book which explains Asperger’s Syndrome in a simple, gentle and positive way to very young children. A groundbreaking picture book, described by the National Autistic Society as “delightful … full of positive messages”, which explains Asperger’s Syndrome in a simple, gentle and positive way to very young children. Meet Isaac. He’s a superhero! He might look like everyone else, but he has a kind of autism called Asperger’s. Inside this book he’ll tell you all about what it’s like to have his Asperger superpowers. An essential book for anyone wishing to understand more about Asperger’s Syndrome.
Rain Reign by Ann Martin (2014) Struggling with Asperger’s syndrome, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels , even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Down (2009) Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off—except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery.
See also a wide variety of titles in the LC celebrating diversity and social emotional learning.