Review: What it is to be Me!
What it is to be Me!: an Asperger Kid Book by Angela Wine. Illustrated by David Crary. Fairdale Books, 2005 (1-59352-199-5) $9.95 pb
I have the same problem with this book that I have with most children's books about understanding Aspergers: it's too specific. To quote a favorite phrase, if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism--just a few added words to make it clear that some Aspies are very good with computers and some Aspies take things literally would have been great.
Other than that, this is probably the best book of its kind I've seen. The illustrations are simple but engaging, with the kind of exaggerated style my Aspie son finds very funny: Enormous ears to illustrate having "very strong senses", smiling faces on gears and computer terminals. The information is straightforward, focusing on strengths as well as challenges: "I am a friendly boy... but sometimes I stand too close." It's great to see the narrator portrayed as likable and happy, getting away from one of my least favorite stereotypes. With personal addendums to the text, this can be a good beginning for any child wanting to understand what Asperger's Syndrome is like. (3-12)
You can see the book's website here.
© 2010 Wendy E. Betts
FTC disclosure: Review copy from my son's collection, originally purchased from Amazon.com. This blog is completely independent, but I receive a small percentage if you order books from Powell's via this site.