Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Books to Know

     Many books have been written about people with Asperger's, and I have read a lot of them.  And believe me, there are lots to avoid and lots an Asperger's kid should read.

     Some to avoid include House Rules by Jodi Picoult and Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison.  Let's begin with House Rules.  Jodi Picoult has written loads of popular books, one of which has been made into a movie.  However, one should not write about Aspies if you are not one yourself, and Jodi makes this mistake.  Her character, Jacob, is way more autistic than he is an Aspie, having screaming fits if his routine is upset.  Even though Jacob is based on a real-life person with Asperger's, (as Picoult says in the acknowledgements), the details about Asperger's seem way over exaggerated and the plot does too.

      Look Me in the Eye is better, but only by a little.  It is written by an Aspie, John Elder Robison, whose brother wrote another famous book, Running With Scissors.  In Look Me in the Eye, Robison looks back on his life with Asperger's and going all those years undiagnosed.  It's interesting, but a little frightening when Robison explains how he failed all of his high school classes and that a lot of Aspies do the same, which is simply not true.

     However, there is some hope for Aspie books.  For example, in Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series, in the fifth book Princess in Pink, the main character, Mia Thermopolis, has to do a report on Asperger's for her Health and Safety class.  That segment is right in the middle of the book.  It is well researched and not depressing.  Cabot even puts a nice twist on it making Aspies sound really cool.  The rest of the series is pretty good too.

     And if you like cats, All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome is really good. It's a picture book full of photos of cats doing things like they have Asperger's Sundrome, and the pictures are really funny as well.  It can also be used to teach younger children and young siblings about Asperger's.

Happy Reading!

This was originally posted at on December 22, 2010.

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