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Text from photo: “No autistic young reader should feel alone or that they don’t identify with how neurotypicals view them; they deserve access to stories of acceptance and empowerment.”

 

This quote is from a blog post by Haley Moss titled, “Diverse Autistic Authors Are Changing Neurodiversity Representation in Books” on the We Need Diverse Books website.

Because of that, the Youth Services department would like the spotlight some of the OwnVoices books about autism in our collection:

Get A Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit

Eleven-year-old knuckleball pitcher Vivy Cohen, who is Autistic, becomes pen pals with her favorite Major League baseball player after writing a letter to him as an assignment for her social skills class.

 

Benji, the bad day, and me by Sally J. Pla and Ken Min

Sammy is having a very bad day at school and at home until his autistic brother, Benji, finds a way to make him feel better.

 

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Charlie, twelve, who has autism and obsessive compulsive disorder, must endure a cross-country trip with his siblings and a strange babysitter to visit their father, who will undergo brain surgery.

 

Can You See Me? By Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott

Eleven-year-old Tally is starting sixth grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism, hypersensitivity to touch, and true self, and trying to act “normal” like her former best friend, Layla, who is distancing herself from Tally and her fourteen-year-old sister, Nell, who is always angry with Tally for being different; but as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder–what is “normal” anyway?

NOTE: We used the term “Autism Acceptance” in this piece in recognition of the fact that there is currently widespread support within the Autism community for identity-first language (rather than person-first references) to reflect pride in their identity and we want to be respectful of that. That being said, in all communities there can be differences of opinion, so it is a good rule of thumb when engaging with individuals to defer to their personal choices.

If you’d like to learn more about why we use the term “Autism Acceptance Month” and the importance of #OwnVoices books (books written by an author who shares the same marginalized/underrepresented background as the character in the book), check out this BookRiot article recommending #OwnVoices Autism Books of various age ranges, as well as this list of 15 #OwnVoices Books About Autism in kidlit (separated by Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult categories).

And if you’d like to learn more about the representation of autism in kidlit, check out this website: https://disabilityinkidlit.com/disability/autism/