April 2021 is Autism Awareness Month across the country. Today we are sharing 7 great kids stories that you can try that we have in our collection that feature stories or characters that have autistic children in them.
SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT AUTISM
Here are some interesting facts about autism from the website Autism Speaks:
— approximately 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States
— boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism
— autism affects all social and economic groups
— research indicates that genetics are involved in a lot of the cases
— research indicates that vaccines DO NOT cause autism
— an estimated 40 percent of individuals diagnosed with autism are nonverbal
— depression affects an estimated 7 percent of children with autism
For more information about autism, check out some of the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
Autism Society of Indiana: https://www.autismsocietyofindiana.org/resources/
Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University: https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/
Indiana Autism Alliance has a fantastic list of resources here: https://www.indianaautismalliance.org/resources/
We have a lot of great resources available both in print and electronic forms available with your Evergreen Indiana library card. Search “autism” in the search bar and limit the location to Scott County Public Library in the drop-down menu.
SOME GREAT STORIES ABOUT KIDS WITH AUTISM
Do You Know Me?
Ever since Tally’s classmates found out she is autistic, Tally has felt a lot more comfortable being herself at school. But she is nervous about the end-of-year school trip coming up, which will be a whole week away from home — her longest overnight trip ever.
Though she decides she doesn’t want to miss out, her expectations are turned upside-down once she arrives: her favorite teacher won’t be there, and she isn’t bunking with her friend. Instead, she is rooming with her former friends and two girls from a neighboring school. Confident Skye is immediately unfriendly, and even quieter Jade rejects Tally’s attempts at friendship.
Will Tally ever make new friends? And how will she survive for so long away from home?
Told through a mix of prose and diary entries, this authentic and relatable novel is about finding your people, and learning to make them feel seen and included, too.
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!
In this epistolary middle grade novel, Vivy Cohen won’t let autism stop her from playing baseball–not when she has a major-league pitcher as her pen pal.
Vivy Cohen wants to play baseball. Ever since her hero, Major League star pitcher VJ Capello, taught her how to throw a knuckleball at a family fun day for kids with autism, she’s been perfecting her pitch. And now she knows she’s ready to play on a real team. When her social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone she knows, she writes to VJ and tells him everything about how much she wants to pitch, and how her mom says she can’t because she’s a girl and because she has autism. And then two amazing things happen: Vivy meets a Little League coach who invites her to join his team, the Flying Squirrels. And VJ starts writing back.
The Exceptional Maggie Chowder
Renee Beauregard Lute
Twelve-year-old aspiring forest ranger Maggie Chowder wants to be just like her favorite comic superhero, the Exceptional Eagirl. So when her dad loses his job and her family moves from a house to a small apartment, Maggie is determined to make the most of her new circumstances. But it’s not always easy to be strong like Eagirl when her best friend LaTanya gets to move into a big house and get a puppy because her dad has been recruited to coach for the Seattle Seahawks. It’s especially not easy when nitpicky, comic-book-hating Grandma Barrel comes to stay.
My name is Charity. I am thirteen years old. Actually, thirteen years plus eighty-seven days. I love sour gummies and pepperoni pizza. That last part no one knows because I have not spoken a sentence since I was born. Each dawning day, I live in terror of my unpredictable body that no one understands.
Charity may have mad math skills and a near-perfect memory, but with a mouth that can’t speak and a body that jumps, rocks, and howls unpredictably, most people incorrectly assume she cannot learn. Charity’s brain works differently from most people’s because of her autism, but she’s still funny, determined, and kind. So why do people treat her like a disease or ignore her like she’s invisible?
When Charity’s parents enroll her in a public junior high school, she faces her greatest fears. Will kids make fun of her? Will her behavior get her kicked out? Will her million thoughts stay locked in her head forever? With the support of teachers and newfound friends, Charity will have to fight to be treated like a real student.
Inspired by a true story, Real speaks to all those who’ve ever felt they didn’t belong and reminds readers that all people are worthy of being included.
Juan Has the Jitters
An interactive children’s book about inclusion, diversity, and the power of math to help one boy with autism thrive amongst his peers.
Juan claps his hands to get his Jitters out. They make his tummy swoosh and swirl. They happen when there are too many people, too much noise, or too many changes to his day. Juan doesn’t like surprises!
Tomorrow there is an athletic event planned at school, which makes Juan very nervous. But his teacher has the perfect solution! Math–Juan’s favorite subject! Counting, sorting, and matching help Juan to calm his Jitters. They focus his mind and keep him engaged. By making math part of the day’s athletic games, and by appointing Juan the official judge, he can have fun and feel included. The class is calling it the Mathletic Games!
A Boy Called Bat
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises — some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.
But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
Benji, the Bad Day, and Me
Sally J. Pla
Nothing seems to be going right for Sammy today. At school, he got in trouble for kicking a fence, then the cafeteria ran out of pizza for lunch. After he walks home in the pouring rain, he finds his autistic little brother Benji is having a bad day too. On days like this, Benji has a special play-box where he goes to feel cozy and safe. Sammy doesn’t have a special place, and he’s convinced no one cares how he feels or even notices him. But somebody is noticing, and may just have an idea on how to help Sammy feel better