Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Reading Autism List

It is interesting that "teen with autism" seems to have become a sub-genre of young adult literature.  It doesn't take much guessing to figure out why - with 1 in every 166 births resulting in a child on the spectrum, this becomes a very natural trend.

Here are a couple of books I found out about recently that have teens or adults with autism/Asperger Syndrome as the main characters.  Do I plan to read them?  Yes, if I can fit them into my summer schedule.

1.  House Rules by Jodi Picoult.  This won't be the first "autism mystery" book I've read.  A couple of years ago I devoured "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Joe Haddon.  I enjoyed that book very much:  the teenage narrator's thought processes were quite believable and a twist in the middle of the book only added to the suspense.  It wasn't a book about autism; it was a book that happened to feature a teen with autism as its main character. (note, the book itself does not identify the narrator as someone on the spectrum, but to me it is pretty obvious.)

I read some of the reviews of House Rules on and the only thing that concerned me is that a reviewer with Asperger Syndrome thought it did not ring true, that it was more a work of someone who did a lot of research but hadn't really been exposed to people on the spectrum.

I've counted myself fortunate in knowing several people on the spectrum, including a very good friend of my son.  And, people on the spectrum can vary quite widely.  So I'll have to read and judge for myself.

2.  "Marcelo in the Real World" by Francisco X. Stork. This was recommended by the reviewer in #1 above.

Some of the plot of this book seems a bit strange but sometimes those kinds of books are the most rewarding.  Other than that, I didn't read the other reviews.  This one will be a "surprise me!" book.

If I do read any of them, I'll let you know what I felt about them.

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