Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Brother Charlie - Part 2 The Review

I have two sons affected by autism. I have a twelve year
old diagnosed with autism, and I have a six year old who
has a brother with autism.
My Brother Charlie is a book about Callie and her twin
brother with autism from Callie's point of view.
Sometimes "there are days when it's hard to be
Charlie's sister. Sometimes he can ruin the best
But Callie appreciates her brother's gifts too.
"Charlie is good at so much.
He knows the names of all the American presidents!
He's a fish in the water."
This is a sweet book about one kid with autism,
and, if you're looking for a book for kids about
autism, a good choice.
My six year old would not sit still while I read it.
He finds his brother annoying, a word that youthful
co-author Ryan Peete also uses about her brother.
I hope the book's message of acceptance will sink in,
but for now he feels that Charlie's autism is better
than his brother's. Charlie says "I love you" when his
sister is hurt. My older boy gets upset when my younger
boy is hurt. This upsets my younger boy more.
In general I like this book very much. The mother -
daughter team that produced it (read more about
Holly Robinson Peete in yesterday's post) describe 
a unique boy with recognizable autism. The book
is for "families struggling with autism" and those
"who have friends facing it." I think it fulfills that
mission. I found one phrase jarring, "I know Charlie
wants to be in my world, fitting in," that may be
true of Charlie, but my boy likes his world. Fitting
in seems like an imposed goal for him.
The book ends strong:
"Charlie has autism. But autism doesn't have Charlie."
Feels more universal to me.
-Spectrum Mom

Featured Book: My Brother Charlie
Authors: Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete with Denene Miller
Pictures: Shane W. Evans
Source: free review copy

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