Monday, November 7, 2016

Peete, Holly Robinson. Same but Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express.

Peete, Holly Robinson.  Same but Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express.  Scholastic Press  2016  183p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-545-09468-9  ms/hs  Realistic fiction  VG-BN   

Actress Holly Robinson Peete teamed with her twin children, Ryan and R.J., to recount the twins’ experiences growing up with R.J.’s autism. The story is told through the fictional twins Callie and Charlie. Callie recounts her struggle with feeling like the guardian of her brother and her guilt at just wanting to be a “normal” family once in a while. She is frustrated with the gluten-free diet the family has adopted, and the planning and feelings of tension that occur to accommodate her brother’s needs any time the family ventures outside of the house. Charlie appreciates his family’s concern for him, but doesn’t understand why they feel the need to monitor his social-media use and deny him the freedoms that his siblings have. Robinson Peete includes short pieces at the beginning and end of the book in which she shares a mother’s perspective, including the fears she harbors about what might happen if someone misunderstands her African-American hoodie-loving autistic son’s behavior. This book is a must-have addition to middle- and high-school collections.

Summary: One family’s experience is told in the alternating voices of twins -- a teenage girl and her twin brother, who is autistic.        

Twins-Fiction, Autism-Fiction             --Stephanie Pennucci

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