Monday, April 29, 2013

Five YA Novels Featuring Protagonists with Asperger's and Other Forms of Autism

To compliment our previous post about five middle grade novels with protagonists with Asperger's or another form of autism, here are five YA novels in the same vein. We were glad to find one with a POC protagonist (Marcelo in the Real World), but found less YA books with autistic protagonists than middle grade. Another interesting observation: four out of the five protagonists have Asperger's Syndrome--there is only one character with another form autism (as opposed to the middle grade books which had a broader range of representation of the autism spectrum). We don't know what this means, if anything, but thought it was noteworthy nonetheless. Blurbs from Goodreads.

The Half-Life of Planets(Asperger's)
written by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halprin
The Half-Life of Planets The Half-Life of Planets
"Lianna is an aspiring planetary scientist and also a kissing addict. This summer, though, she plans to spend every kiss-worthy hour in the lab, studying stars. Hank has never been kissed. He's smart and funny and very socially awkward, because he's got Asperger's syndrome. Hank's plan for the summer is to work at a music store and save enough to buy his beloved Fender Jazzmaster. What neither Liana nor Hank plan for is their fateful meeting...in the women's bathroom at the hospital. But their star-crossed encounter could be the very best kind."

Marcelo in the Real World
written by Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo in the Real World
"Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight."

Mindblind (Asperger's)
written by Jennifer Roy

"Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel Clark lives in two worlds—the outside world of his family and friends and his own, special, inside Aspie world, where he’s not forced to interact with people or worry about wearing his clothes right-side out. The world where he can solve mathematical problems that elude even the brightest graduate students. The world where he feels he can find his own inner truth. People say he’s a genius, but Nathaniel thinks differently. According to a book he once read, a true genius uses his talent to make a contribution to the world. Nathaniel takes the definition literally, and begins his quest for genius status."

Colin Fischer (Asperger's)
written by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
Colin Fischer
"Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions. But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin's frequent tormenter, didn't bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn't have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun... "

My Strange and Terrible Malady (Asperger's)
written by Catherine Bristow
My Strange and Terrible Malady
"Surviving the teenage years isn't easy. Especially, if you've just found out why you're feeling so, totally, different from the rest of the kids at school. In My Strange and Terrible Malady, Ronita Baker, 11th-grade individualist, is not happy. Doctors just diagnosed her with Asperger Syndrome. It's hard enough being the misfit daughter of a perfect mother. School isn't much easier. Things change when Ronnie meets Hannah and she takes the time to explain the mysteries of social interaction and other conundrums of daily life to Ronnie. Hannah soon makes more sense to Ronnie than the despised Life Coach. At first ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? but that changes when the Life Coach starts relating better to Ronnie."


Thoughts on these books? Read other YA novels with protagonists on the autism spectrum? Let us know in the comments! 

14 comments:

  1. So glad to see more books being written on autism that can be used to understand the problem from the child's point of view.

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  2. great collection.. would love to read some of these as DD grows older. thanks for sharing!
    -Reshama
    www.stackingbooks.com

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    1. Glad you like our recs, Resh. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Thanks for these great recommendations! I've added them to my TBR list.

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    1. Our pleasure, Pam! Hope you enjoy them :)

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  4. There is a new book coming out with an autistic protagonist: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

    It's not about Autism, but it has an autistic narrator. Very cool.


    http://shauntagrimes.com/viral-nation/

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    1. Thanks! We'll keep an eye out for Viral Nation. It's great to see books coming out that have autistic protagonists but plots that are not necessarily fixated on that issue.

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  5. HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly.

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    1. Thank you! We'll check out Harmonic Feedback.

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  6. One of the narrators in The Farm by Emily McKay is autistic, but that's a book I had issues with.

    (Also, is there anyway ya'll can turn the captcha off?)

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    1. *Nevermind on the captcha, just noticed I was linked to an old post. Whoops.

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    2. Ah, I didn't know that about The Farm. Will have to take a look at it. Thanks for commenting!

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  7. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, not strictly YA though

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