Tag Archives: autism

Review! Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern

6 Sep

Chester and Gus
By Cammie McGovern
272 pages – ages 9+
Published by HarperCollins on April 4, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “Chester has always wanted to become a service dog. When he fails his certification test, though, it seems like that dream will never come true—until a family adopts him. They want him to be a companion for their ten-year-old son, Gus, who has autism. But Gus acts so differently than anyone Chester has ever met. He never wants to pet Chester, and sometimes he doesn’t even want Chester in the room. Chester’s not sure how to help Gus since this isn’t exactly the job he trained for—but he’s determined to figure it out. Because after all, Gus is now his person.”

What I Thought- I enjoyed this book – it really brought a lot of insight into not only the background behind service dogs, but also into the lives of lower-functioning autistic kids. One thing I thought was really interesting was how McGovern explains how dogs communicate with people – I don’t want to spoil the book, but it is a central aspect, and you will love it too! The book is told from a service dog’s, point of view. Chester is a sweet dog, trained to want to help people, and he will go above and beyond to help others. I do like how McGovern has Chester, who is surprisingly a figure one can easily relate to, compare and contrast Gus for us. Chester shows us ways that he is similar to Gus (not liking loud noises, for example), and is also able to succinctly explain Gus’ other behaviors as well. This will ultimately give readers more of an understanding about lower-functioning autistic kids. As the reader learns more about Gus and why he is the way he is – Chester clears up misconceptions. Chester sees Gus for who he is and is totally accepting. The unconditional love between a dog and his human is explained beautifully. The book is well-written, flows nicely and doesn’t drag at all. I think kids will benefit from reading about two lives we don’t normally get an inside look on. Maybe it will help us all to see the world a bit more like Chester and appreciate those who are beautifully different from ourselves.  I highly recommend this book!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMonia

18 Sep

leahsvoiceLeah’s Voice

by Lori DeMonia

Illustrated by Monique Turchan

28 pages – ages 5+

Published by Halo Publishing International  on October 6, 2012

Logan is excited to have her friend, Abby, over for a play-date but when Logan meets Abby’s sister (Leah), Abby wonders why Logan had to tell Leah to say “Hi.” Leah isn’t like other kids. Leah barely speaks and she acts differently. Abby doesn’t like the way that Leah acts and she gets mad and doesn’t want Leah around. After the play-date, Logan thinks about what Abby said but she loves her sister and she is really okay with the way Leah is. She’s okay with it, until their mother took them for their first trip to the movies and Leah ruins it by breaking down. Logan then learns that Leah has Autism.

This is a very nice story from the point of view of a  girl whose sister has autism. I like that it shows (sadly, in reality) how some kids react to people who act differently. The picture book is simple and the message can be understood by young kids. The book is based on two real-life sisters too!

backcover-07 11-56-10

The illustrations are very nice and there is artwork from the real Leah put into the book! The book is a good way to help kids understand Autism.

Five out of five bookworms for Leah’s Voice! fivebooks

You can find more information about Leah’s Voice, get activities and find more about Autism and the kids who inspired this book at the book’s official website HERE!

BUT WAIT!

Please hop over to Julie Rowan Zoch’s blog for an interview with me and the next stop on the  –

T&P1BLOGTOURBANNERClick HERE to go THERE! 😀

The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman

31 Jul

edisonthomas

The Reinvention of Edison Thomas

by Jacqueline Houtman

189 pages – ages 8+

Hardcover published by Front Street Press on March 1, 2010

Paperback Published by Boyds Mills Press on September 1, 2012

Eddy is a kid with autism who is super-smart, but has trouble understanding other people. It makes it hard for him to make friends. At first Eddy didn’t want  to be associated with the name Thomas Edison (Eddy’s name is Edison Thomas) but after doing a school research project on Edison, Eddy figures out they have a lot in common. Eddy is a genius and can invent all sorts of things from scraps of machines he finds. Eddy enters the school science fair  and is sure he will win, but he comes in third. After he was disappointed at the science fair, sticky notes with mean messages like “GEEK” and “NERD” appear on his locker. Someone also put a mean sign on his back during the science fair. Eddy is being bullied and he doesn’t know who to call a friend anymore. Justin, who came in 2nd at the science fair tells Eddy that the boy Eddy thinks of as a friend, Mitch, is the one leaving the mean messages and bullying him. Eddy doesn’t know who to trust and if Mitch is the one being a bully, Eddy wonders if he can have friends.

One of the reasons I really like this book is that it is told from the POV of a kid with autism. I thought the character of Eddy was very believable and gave me some information of how a person with autism thinks. I like how the book points out that Eddy is super-smart and shows that just because someone has a “learning disability”, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be geniuses. It also shows how Eddy is very kind and a good person with awesome inventing abilities. I am also glad Eddy finds out who his true friends are. I really like the added RAMs (Random Access Memory [Of Edison Thomas]) that are here and there in the book. They are little facts that pop up here and there to show some of the things Eddy is thinking. I learned some interesting stuff from them (like that platypuses are poisonous). I think books like this one are very important for kids to read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 book worms!fivebooks

Mockingbird

3 Aug

Mockingbird
By: Kathryn Erskine
Ages 9-12, 256 pages
Published by Puffin; Reprint edition (2011)

10-year-old Caitlin wasn’t like any one in her grade. For one she has Asperger’s syndrome which makes it hard for her to understand emotions and also her brother, Devon,  was shot in the heart and killed during violence that happened at school. Now her dad doesn’t even look at the chest he and Devon were making anymore because he can’t cope with his son’s death. Caitlin and Devon were like best friends. Devon helped Catlin to understand the world. When Devon died, Caitlin was heart-broken and lost. She really didn’t have friends so she was completely friendless when Devon was gone. Then the school psychiatrist, Mrs. Brook, decides to help Catlin make friends. Caitlin wasn’t very sure she wanted Mrs. Brook to help her but Mrs. Brook helped Catlin learn how to make and keep friends.

I liked this book because it talks about how emotions are important in understanding people with Asperger’s syndrome better. I know some people with Asperger’s and sensory integration disorders so I can relate to some of the things Catlin is going through. It really helped me understand about how someone with Asperger’s thinks. The book was an easy read for me. It talked a lot about relationships and loss. This book talks about Devon getting shot so it may be a little inappropriate for young readers. There were some funny parts of the book which helped to make it more enjoyable. I would recommend it to kids who want to learn more about Asperger’s Syndrome. This book won 2010 The National Book Award in
Young People’s Literature in 2010.

I give it three out of five book worms.

%d bloggers like this: