#ReadYourWorld – A Story about Autism and Friendship

Diversity in Kidlit
It’s important…no it’s essential that that children’s literature embrace diversity. Children will learn understanding and acceptance when they can experience stories about other cultures, people, and traditions. They’ll build self confidence when they see themselves represented as characters in stories they read. The Multicultural Children’s Book Day, celebrated on January 27th, brings awareness to the importance diversity in children’s literature. I was thrilled to join the team to call out the importance of having stories with autism themes and autistic characters. I was asked to review Lucy’s Amazing Friend, A Story of Autism and Friendship as one such example.

Lucy's Amazing Friend

The book is the first by children’s author, Stephanie Workman, who was inspired after attending Ellen Walker’s reading of  her book, Bringing Up John, a memoir about raising her autistic son. Stephanie was surprised to find out that her husband Tim was friends with John in high school and in Ellen’s book, she talked about the impact he made on John because he was his friend. Her husband had no idea…to him, John was just John.

The spark from learning about John and Tim’s friendship ignited Stephanie’s imagination and Lucy’s Amazing Friend was born!

Lucy is an 8 year old who notices a boy sitting alone at recess. She doesn’t understand why he won’t look at her or talk to her when she admires the picture he’s drawing. She learns that her classmate Daniel is autistic. The story takes you on a journey of their friendship…the things they enjoy together while lovingly sharing Daniel’s uniqueness because of his autism:

Whenever the bell ran Daniel cover his ears. Loud noises bothered him. When the lights inside were too bright, he’d put on his sunglasses.

Lucy thinks that Daniel is amazing! To her Daniel is just Daniel. To me, that’s true acceptance. You like and respect someone for who they are. This is why I recommend, Lucy’s Amazing Friend. It’s a delightful story that teaches with out preaching. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Lucy and Daniel are playing in his room and listen to their favorite song over and over again. The illustration (by Tim Raynes) shows the happy friends with arms in the air…and there’s a sign that says “Not being able to speak…is not the same as not having anything to say.”

Autism Stories and Activities for Kids

If you would like to find more children’s stories with autism themes and activities for the classroom, download our Bluebee TeeVee Autism Information Station webisodes and episode guides:

Learn About Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Multicultural Children's Book Day

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag #ReadYourWorld.  The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers

Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts and you can view them here.

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.

Comments

  1. Thank you for your wonderful book review and for sharing it at Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I agree with you; teaching kids about diversity is essential. We are grateful for your support! Thank you again!

  2. I’m always looking for good books like this. Thanks for the review and for participating in multicultural children’s book day!

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