Hurray for Jennifer Roy! She has written a thoughtful inside look into a teen on the Autism Spectrum. Nathaniel has Aspergers. It is my hope to recommend this for YALSA’s Reader’s Choice List. He refers to himself as an Aspie. He has genius level intelligence in math formulas. The formulas help him make sense of the very confusing social world around him. Nathaniel is lucky, while his struggles with social skills makes relating to others challenging, he does have two great friends. Jessa and Cooper have known him since he was a small child and accept him for who he is. Not many Aspie’s can say that. He is in a band with his friends and helps them write songs that will make them internet sensations. He also has a good friend who is also on the spectrum named Molly. They have weekly bowling dates. It is fascinating to watch them relate to each other. Nathaniel’s father refuses to believe his Autism is real and puts him into one particularly dangerous situation. Nathaniel struggles with whether he is a genius. What amazing impact will he have on society? What if he isn’t really a genius? Roy gives us a realistic glimpse into Nathaniel’s mind. She writes with great sensitivity. The title, Mindblind, comes from the term that those on the Autism Spectrum have trouble reading the emotions and intentions of others. This is a wonderful book for teens to gain an understanding of what it feels like to be an autistic teen. Hopefully it will give them compassion and the willingness to befriend an Aspie.
Kris Hickey is currently reading Positively by Courtney Sheinmel
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