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Reading books with characters to whom they can relate can help teens with autism connect to the stories they are reading. Young adult literature can also provide other students with the opportunity to better understand their peers with autism. These books offer well-rounded characters in a variety of fictional stories, some that focus on living with autism and some that just happen to have a character with autism.
1. “Rules” by Cynthia Lord
Catherine is a 12-year-old who has a brother with autism. Catherine searches for a normal life, but things become even more complicated when she befriends Jason, a boy in a wheelchair, and Kristi, the seemingly perfect girl next door. The author, Cynthia Lord, drew on her own experiences raising a child with autism to write “Rules.”
2. “Marcelo in the Real World” by Francisco X. Stork
“Marcelo in the Real World” is about teenage Marcelo who attends a special school because of his autism-like differences. In the summer after his junior year, his father gets him a job in his law firm’s mailroom. The book explores Marcelo’s experiences in the “real world.”
3. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon
Christopher is an intellectually gifted 15-year-old with autism. Though his logic and memory are exemplary, he struggles with understanding human emotions. When the neighbor’s dog is killed, Christopher is inspired by his favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, to solve the murder.
4. “The Silent Boy” by Lois Lowry
Historical fiction set in the early 1900s, “The Silent Boy” is about Katy Thatcher, a young girl who sometimes makes house calls with her doctor father. On one of these visits, she meets Jacob, a boy who would likely be diagnosed with autism today. Jacob doesn’t speak but Katy enjoys his quiet company.
5. “Anything But Typical” by Nora Raleigh Baskin
“Anything But Typical” is about Jason Blake, a 12-year-old with autism. Jason finds a friend through a website on which he posts stories, but he worries that if he meets her in real life that she won’t be able to see past his autism.
Literature can get research paper help online, promote understanding, and help students feel more connected. Whether you are a teacher looking for books to help your students understand autism or books for to which your students with autism can relate, a parent seeking books for your child with autism, or a teen with autism searching for personal reading material, check out some of the young adult literature listed here.
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