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Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.
Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Autistic people may find it challenging to communicate and interact with other people. They may get anxious or upset in unfamiliar situations. They may find it hard to understand how other people feel.
You can find out more about Autism here on the website of the National Autistic Society.
Books are a great way to raise awareness and increase our understanding of our differences. Here we have collected a few books that either include a character with autism or support children with autism.
Pablo thinks differently! Pablo's mum takes him to his cousin Lorna's birthday party, but Pablo gets scared of the noisy party. Pablo hides in the car, and soon his friends come to join him. Pablo's friends help him realise that it's OK if he doesn't want to go to the party. This lovely and heartwarming story will help readers understand that not everybody thinks the same way, and that some people feel differently about parties. All Pablo books are written by writers on the autistic spectrum and are grounded in the real-life experiences of autistic children.
Kya and Martha are like ‘two different colours sitting on a beautiful rainbow’. They are both on the autistic spectrum, but this certainly does not mean that they are the same. In this sequel to Roberts’ first book about his daughter, we are introduced to her friend Martha, highlighting similarities, but also their many differences. We see them both enjoying school, but, while Martha tends to be chatty and outgoing, Kya takes time to process questions and likes to quietly repeat words. At lunchtime, they enthusiastically devour their spaghetti, but with Martha clearly struggling to know when she is full. And at bedtime, while they both like routines, Kya just wants to keep on moving while Martha knows when she needs to get to sleep. Autism is a spectrum, and no two experiences are identical. Charmingly brought to life with exuberant illustrations by Hannah Rounding, this is a book which shares valuable autism-related experience, such as how certain activities may stimulate and why different textures can appeal. Above all, it is a beautiful book, rich in its universal sense of childhood fun and friendship, as we witness two children’s affection for each other, their classmates and their families.
Told from the first-person perspective of an autistic boy, Nora Raleigh Baskin's novel is an enlightening story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in. Jason Blake is an autistic twelve-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.
2020 Schneider Family Honor Book In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend-or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.
It's not always easy to stand out from the crowd, especially if you're a teenager. There's a lot of information out there on how to deal with bullying, but a lot of it is contradictory or seems like it won't work... But this guidebook is different! Helping you sort fact from fiction, the book looks at the different forms bullying can take and debunks commonly held myths such as 'bullying makes you stronger' and 'ignore it and it will stop'. You'll learn techniques to clear your mind so that you can respond to bullying situations calmly and confidently and be positive about who you are. Finally, it's packed with self-empowering strategies for coping with being autistic in a neurotypical world, and practical tips so you can handle any bullying scenario.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Karen McCombie tells a big story in a short extent in this new book for dyslexia specialists Barrington Stoke, and it's one that will intrigue readers from the opening pages. Hannah is feeling left out - her mum and dad are so preoccupied with her stroppy big sister that they don't notice their younger daughter, and her best friends seem to have new interests that shut Hannah out. So when she finds a diary in the park, it feels like she has a new friend, the person who wrote it seems so open, cool and honest. When the two girls actually meet, both their lives are changed for the better. The story is full of surprises and its message to look for the best things in life is valuable for everyone.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | Highly Commended in the Branford Boase Award 2020 | Ten-year-old Frank loves code and numbers; they’re a way to make sense of the world, as well as providing secret languages to share with his friends and his mum. Frank’s five-year-old brother Max is autistic and for him the world is often a scary place, when anything unexpected, too loud or too bright can cause him to have a meltdown. The story is narrated by Frank and every reader will understand his frustration at the unfairness of life. We know that he loves Max, but we know too how hard Max makes life for all the family. Frank is then faced with something even more terrible when tragedy strikes. With the help of those around him we watch Frank find a way to make sense of what has happened and the bravery to cope with the different world. Katya Balen has worked with neuro-divergent children and there’s a powerful sense of truth and understanding in her beautifully told story. If they like Wonder by R. J. Palacio they'll love The Space We're In.
This book is for autistic people. You can share this book with important people such as family and friends. The activities in this book explore what it means to be autistic. It is full of fun activities including colouring, drawing and DIY. The activities are designed for autistic people and their friends and family to enjoy. Some ideas might be useful to practice outside of the book in real life, every day situations. There is also guidance for parents and caregivers. This book was written by Haia Ironside. Haia recently completed her master's degree in Autism Studies. She is also a teacher and has extensive experience working with autistic children and their families and caregivers.
With diary entries written by eleven-year-old Libby Scott, based on her own experiences of autism, this pioneering book, written in collaboration with esteemed author Rebecca Westcott, hasbeen widely praised for its realistic portrayal of autism. Tally is eleven years old and she's just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there's something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can't cover up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic. Tally's autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn't. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her. People think that because Tally's autistic, she doesn'trealise what they're thinking, but Tally sees and hears - and notices - all of it. And, honestly? That's not the easiest thing to live with. Perfect for fans of Wonder and The Goldfish Boy, this sucker punch to the heart is valuable reading for children and adults alike. Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, Can You SeeMe? is a story of autism, empathy and kindness that will touch readers of all ages.
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | February 2016 Book of the Month The heroine of Ann M Martin’s fine novel has a unique voice, and the story she tells is very touching. Rose (rows) has a diagnosis of autism and struggles to understand the unspoken social rules that are built in to the rest of us. Her props are homonyms – she has an ever growing list of words pronounced the same as another but spelled differently – prime numbers, and her dog Rain (reign, rein). When Rain goes missing, Rose works methodically to find her, but their reunion brings a problem: Rain originally belonged to another family, who also want their dog back. For Rose, for whom written rules are as vital as homonyms, there’s only one course of action to take. Rose tells her story exactly as it happens, but readers will infer so much more from her descriptions of events and the reactions of the other characters. A delight to read, this is a sophisticated and very moving piece of storytelling. ~ Andrea Reece How to Look for a Lost Dog joins the growing category of books about young people with a diagnosis of autism and Counting by 7s and We are All Made of Molecules are equally heart-warming and uplifting books for younger readers.
A sequel to The London Eye Mystery, The Guggenheim Mystery is the story of Ted Sparks (he’s 12 years and 281 days old, with seven friends) and the most unusual theft of a painting. Ted is a boy who sees the world very differently to the rest of his family – his brain works on a different operating system to everyone else’s, and that makes him an excellent detective. He’s very kind, and very thoughtful, and a brilliant hero. A great read.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - May 2014 Debut of the Month A touching story shot through with warmth and humour this tells of one girl’s journey to find herself. Willow’s view of the world is unusual. She is a genius with a special skill at numbers and exceptional knowledge of medical conditions but without much skill of any kind in dealing with people. When Willow’s life is turned upside down, she suddenly has to learn how to find the people who can help her. Willow’s journey of self-discovery and the cast of interesting characters who help to is totally absorbing as, largely through instinct, Willow finds the ways she needs to relate to others. A Piece of Passion from Brenda Gardner, Publisher, Piccadilly Press We published Holly Goldberg Sloan's Just Call My Name for YA in 2012, and we all fell totally in love with her writing. She is evocative, tender, precise, humorous her writing is lyrical and beautiful. I heard early last year that Counting by 7s was a knockout book, and her US publisher was very excited about it. And they were right! Fourteenyear old Willow is a unique character, and all the characters she befriends and who become her 'family' are unforgettable. Tragedy has struck Willow's life, but the book is about hope and life. It is one of the most uplifting books you will have read. It certainly comes out at the top of my best books ever! If you like the sound of Counting by 7s you may also like to read R.J. Palacio's fantastic novel, Wonder.
Mark Haddon’s best-selling story of how Christopher, a boy with Asperger's syndrome, sees the world and makes sense of it in his own particular way became a success for children and adults alike. When Christopher finds a dead dog on his neighbour's lawn he applies the principles he has learnt from Sherlock Holmes, his own literary hero, to the situation and so begins the narration of his own remarkable story. In particular, Christopher traces the mystery surrounding his mother's absence and his father's unexpected behaviour, drawing on the clues he can understand. Christopher's use of clues that help him rather than using the more familiar props of emotional recognition make this story a very special journey of discovery. This edition is part of the Vintage Children's Classics series which is aimed at and shaped by 8-12 year olds, and the adults in their lives. It is a broad, affordable selection of books that will inspire a life-long love of reading; these stories that have secured a place in the hearts of thousands. They are all unabridged. To view all the Vintage Children's Classics titles click here. They are books to be given as gifts, and passed down the generations. In addition, story hungry children often don't want the adventure to end, so why not take a look at the fully interactive website - World of Stories - which contains lots of extra material - the backstory: with quizzes, activities and fascinating facts about the books and their authors.
A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there's more to the story of these 'witches', just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard? A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy.
Winner of the American National Book Award 2010. 11 year old Caitlin has Asperger's. Her world is torn apart when her beloved brother is kille in a school schooting. Anxious and confused, caitline decides what she and her father need is 'closure'. But she needs to find it. This is an incredibly moving and heart-warming story of loss, self-discovery and recovery told from a completely different perspective and it's likely to be one of the most moving books you'll ever read. Author Kathryn Erskine on Mockingbird: “Understanding breeds tolerance. And, whatever situation you're in, there's always hope." Kathryn has a family member with Asperger’s Syndrome so in writing Mockingbird she wanted to help people understand those on the autism spectrum. Kathryn says: “I wanted readers to really get inside her head and be able to see the world from her perspective. My hope was that they would realise that, actually, Caitlin's thought processes are very logical and in many ways make a lot of sense, despite not being socially acceptable. If that realisation translates into having more tolerance for what we might consider "odd" behaviour, that would be brilliant.”
This was only Siobhan Dowd’s second novel but it’s clear her talent as a superb storyteller is beyond question. Sadly, however she died in late 2007 so whatever you do don’t miss her four novels. Her first, A Swift Pure Cry, was shortlisted for nearly all the major awards and although this second novel is very different it has that same page-turner quality about it. It’s a beautifully written mystery set in Manchester and London and featuring two young boys, one of whom disappears on the London Eye shortly before he’s due to emigrate to the US with his mother. This edition features an Introduction from bestselling author Robin Stevens. Siobhan sadly only wrote 4 books in total before her tragic death from cancer in 2007. They were Solace of the Road, Bog Child, A Swift Pure Cry and The London Eye Mystery but her memory lives on in a Trust that has been set up in her name as well as through her writing. ~ Julia Eccleshare Shortlisted for the Nasen and TES 'Special Educational Needs Children's Book Award' 2007.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - March 2014 Debut and Mega Book of the Month The big emotions at the heart of this story will grab readers’ attention and guide them through a painful and heart-warming story. Liv’s life is pretty typical: there are the ups and downs of friends and school and testing her parents about how much they will let her make her own decisions. Life is a bit extra complicated because of her brother’s behaviour but Liv is used to it and mostly she can manage that too. But then Mum begins to behave very oddly. When Liv learns the truth her life is turned upside down. Through her diaries and the photos she takes and helped by Mum’s diaries too Liv charts the dramatic weeks that change her life.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 Sita Brahmachari writes about family lives and family relationships with real sensitivity and insight. Hudson, the teen narrator of her new novel, is well aware of his own tendency to misunderstand or misread what others are saying, so the moment when he and his dad suddenly connect with one another is particularly powerful. That it takes place in a car wash only makes it more convincing. Hudson’s dad explains how much he loved going through the car wash with his own father as a child, and how the cloud of soapy bubbles felt like a kind of heaven. Though there’s lots going on in Hudson’s life, and indeed head, his story is, as publisher Barrington Stoke says, super readable, with design and writing as clear as can be. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
In a Nutshell: Living with Asperger’s * Dealing with change * New beginnings “Being human is a complicated game”, and that’s certainly the case for fifteen-year-old Grace, the sparkling protagonist of this gorgeously heartfelt and often hilarious novel. Grace is bright and witty, but has Asperger’s and often feels as if she speaks “human as a second language”, though when she’s riding her horse “everything melts away”, and Anna, her adorable best friend, totally has her back, and then there’s the magic of getting together with the “mysterious Gabe”. But an undercurrent of tension between her parents offsets the good times. Her dad’s a wildlife cameraman and works away a lot and, when her mum’s old uni friend turns up, life at home is further disrupted. Change is hard to deal with at the best of times, but it’s intensified tenfold when you’re Grace and “living with all your senses turned up to full volume”. From the honestly portrayed real-life predicaments of living with Asperger’s and growing up, to the glorious giddiness of Grace’s first romance, this perfectly compact treasure trove of a novel comes highly recommended for fans of character-driven contemporary drama. ~ Joanne Owen
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | February 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: All people have bubbles You’ll smile, you’ll gasp, you’ll root for main character Martin throughout and, while it’s only January, I strongly suspect that this radiant story about relishing memorable moments and making sense of the world will remain one of my Books of the Year. This exquisitely insightful, charming tale is all about the unforgettable voice of 16 year-old Proust-obsessed Martin, who’s in France where his mom is directing a movie. He has Asperger’s and struggles with personal pronouns. “Until I was eight years old, I called myself “you” because that's what everyone else called me, and I called other people "I" because that's what they called themselves", he explains. Like his favoured Proust protagonist, Martin lives through memories and through his devotion to fine detail - of taste, smells, landscape and faces. So, when he meets and falls for Alice, he views her as an incarnation of his favourite Proust heroine. While Martin’s relationships with Alice and the other new kids he encounters are far from straightforward, he moves beyond his Proustian absorption in things past and enriches the lives of many others as his own world expands. As one character realises with wry affection, Martin is “truly cool for a robot”. ~ Joanne Owen
In this beautifully constructed middle-grade novel, told half in prose and half in verse, Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, and Sierra is used to taking care of her mom. When Lauren's parents send her brother to a therapeutic boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum and Sierra moves to a foster home in Lauren's wealthy neighborhood, both girls are lost until they find a deep bond with each other. But when Lauren recruits Sierra to help with a Robin Hood scheme to raise money for autistic kids who don't have her family's resources, Sierra has a lot to lose if the plan goes wrong. Lauren must learn that having good intentions isn't all that matters when you battle injustice, and Sierra needs to realize that sometimes the person you need to take care of is yourself.