Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two Books and Autism

Rules by Cynthia Lord (Review from Amazon)...

“Catherine is twelve years-old and just wants a normal life. This is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"---in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors.

But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?”

I enjoyed this story very much. It was one of those books that after reading and reflecting, I could gleam many life lessons from. This story is told simply and honestly. No wonder it won a Newbery Honor!

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin was a book recommended to me by one of my sixth graders last year.

Jason is twelve years-old and has autism. The book is written from his point of view. Jason gives the reader a glimpse of what life is like for him living in a world where other people are not accepting and/or educated about autism.

Jason is very involved in an online Storyboard site. He writes stories there and posts messages to other writers. He starts getting messages from PhoenixBird and thinks that perhaps this could be his chance to have one real true friend. Perhaps there will be a chance to meet this friend, but he is terrified that if they do meet, that perhaps PhoenixBird will see who he truly is.

Nora Raleigh Baskin does a great job of writing from the main character's viewpoint. I certainly learned a lot about what an autistic child may think and feel. I would recommend this book to a reader who is open to learning what goes on in the mind of others as well as to the reader who likes to write. There are many references to writing a story...character, plot, setting, conflict, etc. A good book.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

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