Do you love to give and receive books? We love to give and receive books. So for you and for us, here’s a short selection of recommended books by, for, about, and enjoyed by autistic people and their families.
If you have additional suggestions for books that you, your child, or your clients enjoy, please list them in the comments. And consider TPGA Editor Kassiane Sibley’s suggestion that books focusing on a person’s special interest topic are … usually a good choice.
Loud Hands ($24.99) – Julia Bascom
“Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking is a collection of essays
written by and for Autistic people. Spanning from the dawn of the
Neurodiversity movement to the blog posts of today, Loud Hands: Autistic
People, Speaking catalogues the experiences and ethos of the Autistic
community and preserves both diverse personal experiences and the
community’s foundational documents together side by side.”
Keep up with The Loud Hands Project at theloudhandsproject.tumblr.com.
I Love Being My Own Autistic Self ($9.99) – Landon Bryce
“I Love Being My Own Autistic Self is a funny and upbeat book for
autistic people, their families, and others who care about them. Author
Landon Bryce uses a colorful cast of cartoon characters to gently
introduce neurodiversity, the idea that neurological differences should
be respected and valued.”
See Ariane Zurcher’s interview with the author at The Huffington Post.
We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistics Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose ($12.95) – Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg
“We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistics Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose
is a new anthology that showcases the work of autistic writers
throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.”
Rachel blogs at www.disabilityandrepresentation.com and www.autismandempathy.com.
The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions ($39.95) – Debra Hosseini
$10 off through December 22nd. Use the code
“The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions explores major themes including unique abilities of some on the spectrum, the importance of family in nurturing creativity, the significance of a late diagnosis of Asperger’s, the use of alternate means of communication, and collaboration. Much more than an art book, this book has stories of overcoming challenges, inspiration, and hope. Join the Art of Autism experience – become part of our movement!”
The Art of Autism site: the-art-of-autism.com.
The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters (Disability in Society) ($55.00) – Dana Lee Baker
writes, “The book provides a thought-provoking overview of models of
disability and how different agendas (rights, celebration, care, cure)
intersect and contrast. It has both academic and practical/public appeal
about tensions we face every day in trying to improve individuals’
quality of life and achieve a more just society.”
The author is an Associate Professor and Director of Program of Public Affairs at Washington State University, Vancouver.
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism ($19.50) – Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg
“Refreshingly free of dogma, disinformation, and heavy-handed agendas,
The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is an oasis of sanity, compassion,
and hope for people on the spectrum and those who love them.” –Steve
Silberman, senior writer for Wired magazine and autism/neurodiversity
blogger for the Public Library of Science
See the onslaught of stellar reviews telling you exactly why you need (to gift) our book.
Fiction – Adults
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie ($7.99) – Jennifer Ashley
An autistic character portrayed as not just brilliant but totally hot — and in need of acceptance, not conformity (the word ‘autistic’ is not used as the Victorian time frame predates the label). Very NSFW.
“One kiss from Ian, and Beth is prepared to give up her quiet new life as
a widow and indulge in a scandalous affair with the sexy Scottish
nobleman. But Beth knows that Ian is not dangerous. Even if everyone
else in society might believe he is connected to the murder of two
different women, Beth believes Ian is innocent, even if it means risking
her life to prove her faith in him.”
The author’s site is www.jennifersromances.com.
Love Anthony ($15.88) – Lisa Genova
We need more fictional approaches like Genova’s — the only miracle is the shift toward acceptance in a mother’s perception of her autistic son.
“Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died.”
See TPGA editor Shannon Rosa’s interview with Lisa Genova at BlogHer.
Fiction – Kids
Wildwood ($8.99) and Under Wildwood ($12.23) – Colin Meloy, illustrations by Carson Ellis
Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis are the parents in an autism family. They’ve created an “epic fantasy-adventure series” that could only happen in Portland, Oregon. Are there any autistic characters? You’ll have to read and decide for yourself.
Colin Meloy posts stuff at colinmeloy.tumblr.com, Carson Ellis can be found at www.carsonellis.com.
A Wrinkle in Time ($16.46) – Madeline L’Engle
“Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.”
TPGA editor Carol Greenburg says this book’s “…female protagonist is a terrific role model for aspie girls.”
Bone Series (Anthology: $25.38) – Jeff Smith
“Three modern cartoon cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, speanding a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. Their many adventures include crossing the local people in The Great Cow Race, and meeting a giant mountain lion called RockJaw: Master of the Eastern Border. They learn about sacrifice and hardship in The Ghost Circles and finally discover their own true natures in the climatic journey to The Crown of Horns.”
This series is a hit with nearly every graphic-novel-loving ASD or BAPpy child I know. -SR
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome ($10.17) – Kathy Hoopman
Delightful color photographs of cats bring to life familiar characteristics such as sensitive hearing, scampering at the first sign of being stroked and particular eating habits. Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes the difficulties and joys of raising a child who is different and leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality and potential of people with AS.
TPGA Editor Kassiane Sibley describes this book as “critically cute.”
Contributors include Kassiane Sibley, Carol Greenburg, Emily Willingham, Steven Kapp, and Ibby Grace-Anderson. Any selection you don’t agree with, however, is the responsibility of the editor listed below.