April 2, 2019

This week is World Autism Awareness Week. For a full seven days, people are encouraged to participate in events to raise money and awareness for the National Autistic Society. And what better way to help celebrate than with a good book?

We’ve picked out some great fiction and non-fiction titles for all interest levels that are sure to get kids exploring issues around autism. These books are a great way to introduce students to other children’s experiences.

Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. More than 700,000 people in the UK are affected by autism, including children.

To find more books, you can use the Autism/Aspergers’ subtopic under Health/Illness on AR Bookfinder using the advanced search.

If you’d like to learn more about this year’s World Autism Awareness Week and how to participate, please visit the National Autistic Society’s website here.

Content’s picks to celebrate World Autism Awareness Week

I Know Someone With Autism by Sue Barraclough is a great introduction for young students to what autism is and how it affects people. They will also learn how to be a good friend to someone living with autism.

Melanie Walsh’s picture book Isaac and his Amazing Asperger Superpowers is about a boy named Isaac. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, but he’s also a superhero! Readers can follow his story as he goes throughout his day at school and home. As someone with Asperger’s, I don’t often find books that talk about my learning difficulty in this way. I found it refreshing to see such a positive portrayal.

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is about Caitlin, a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome. When her brother is killed in a shooting, she struggles with the pain. She must learn to navigate the world without her brother by her side. It’s a powerful story about the girl in the middle of a town’s devastation.

In The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas, a 15-year old girl with Asperger’s struggles to cope with romance and changes in her home life. Lucas drew upon many of her own experiences to bring Grace to life. Kerry, the book’s quiz writer, loved Grace.

She said, “I loved The State of Grace and found it to be both funny and insightful. Grace is a brilliant and brutally honest character who has her own way of looking at the world. She’s trying to deal with all the things most 15-year-old girls struggle with, whilst feeling that she’s missed out on her copy of the “rules for life”. The story is realistic as well as romantic. I’d recommend it for all teen readers.”

The award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon follows Christopher, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, as he stumbles upon a mystery. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. When he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey that turns his world upside down.

The non-fiction book Autism by Sarah Lennard-Brown helps older readers learn more about what autism is. It looks at both high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and how these affect both the individual with the condition, and their family and friends.

Let us know if  you are celebrating World Autism Awareness Week at your school. We’d love to hear about it via our Facebook or Twitter pages!

Book details for titles included in this post:

I Know Someone with Autism by Sue Barraclough
Raintree | BL 4.4 | LY | Quiz #219170

Isaac and his Amazing Asperger Superpowers by Melanie Walsh
Walker Books | BL 2.9 | LY | Quiz #230984

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Usborne | BL 3.6 | MY | Quiz #222180

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
Macmillan Children’s Books | 5.9 | MY+ | Quiz #233657

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Vintage | 5.4 | UY | Quiz #206658

Autism by Sarah Lennard-Brown
Wayland | 9.0 | UY | Quiz #225008

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