My Brother Charlie – Children’s Book #Autism

by Jennifer Donovan

My Brother CharlieMy Brother Charlie is a great book conceived by Ryan Robinson Peete, who is 13 years old and whose twin brother has autism.

In this book, Callie tells the fictional story of her brother Charlie, explaining that at first she didn’t understand why he acted the way he did, and how she wanted him to act like other brothers, but then coming around to share what is special and unique and wonderful about “my brother Charlie.”

This book does a great job of explaining how kids on the autism spectrum are different from some kids, and how they are the same as other kids. I think that this would be an excellent book for siblings of children with special needs who wonder why their sibling is “different,” but also for grandparents and friends and people who just don’t seem to understand.

My Brother Charlie just touches the surface, but it tells just enough to open people’s eyes or give them a little bit of understand about the different world that a family that includes someone on the autism spectrum experiences.

But this is also a great book that any of today’s kids would enjoy. They are already so sensitive to differently-abled kids (at least mine are because of integration in their schools), so I think that what used to be “taboo” is safe to talk about it, and we’ve all benefited from that. I think that the more information kids — and their parents — have on the way that all kinds of people work, the better.

Holly Robinson Peete is Ryan’s mother, and co-wrote it with her, but this is not your typical celebrity vehicle. She has been an autism fundraiser and awareness-raiser for a long time. Ryan does in fact have a twin brother who is on the autism spectrum, but she is not Callie, and he is not Charlie. However, this family’s experiences have helped them write this meaningful book.

Watch this video to see the book come to life:

Coinciding with Autism Awareness Month, I am so pleased to be able to offer a copy of My Brother Charlie to three of you (U.S. addresses only) — one of you will receive an autographed copy!

Please leave a comment, and we’ll announce the winners in the April 26th 5 Minutes for Books column right here.

I don’t have a winner to announce because last week’s giveaway is still open. Enter to win your choice of one of the Readable Classics right now!

If you like book giveaways, we have SIX giveaways open right now at 5 Minutes for Books. Check them out!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book to review.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elizabeth N. April 12, 2010 at 9:58 am

I would love to win this book for the library at work. I work in a non-profit for kids with autism and other issues, and this would be a wonderful resource to have for the siblings and families!


2 Sarah at themommylogues April 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

I’d love that book! My nephew’s autistic.


3 Rachel C April 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

I’m a teacher so would love to have this book in my classroom!


4 Jenn April 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

I have been wanting this book for my daughter- our son is autistic and this book looks like a wonderful resource for any family with a special needs member. Thanks so much for the great giveaway!! :-)


5 Tomi April 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I would love to win this book and donate to our school library.


6 Heather April 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I would love to win this! I work with several Autistic kids!


7 Robyn April 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I know I can’t win ( I live in Canada), but I justed wanted to say thank-you! My 6year old son has ASD and we are in the process of explaining this to our 8 year old daughter. It is tough on her because it hard to fully understand as an adult never mind a child. So thank-you for helping to getting out the awarness.


8 NTE April 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I’d love to read this – thanks for the opportunity.


9 Linda Kish April 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I’ve heard about this book. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


10 Nanette ~ AMomBlog April 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Oh I would love to win this book and share it with my daughter and my son and my son’s school and classmates.


11 Roxanne D. April 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

That sounds like a wonderful book for all children to read and to raise awareness! I would love to win this for my 2 sons! :)


12 Jenell Hunter April 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

This is great! I’d love to have this for my son!


13 katklaw777 April 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Like to win this book and donate it to my local library, thanks.


14 Some Lucky Dog April 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Thanks, this would be a great way to explain autism to other kids that don’t understand…


15 Carolyn April 12, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Please count me in. This would be great for school.


16 Elena April 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm

This is a really terrific book! It’s got really deep meanings – but so great for kids. I know another great book Its The Littluns Book – You have to check it out. It isn’t just for kids a family kind of book. Good Luck everyone!


17 Barbara Manatee April 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I am a teacher for students with Autism and I am always looking for new books and resources that help explain Autism to other students. Thanks for sharing this one and the chance to win it!


18 Eternal Lizdom April 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

I picked up this book at Target when I was perusing for ideas on what to read to my daughter’s pre-K class a few weeks back… I cried in the aisle. It’s a beautiful book. I took it and read it to a bunch of 3-5 year olds and they were so intent and open to it. They asked some great questions when it was done. I love this book!!


19 Angie L. April 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

I would love to have this book. One of my 3 children has just been diagnosed with PDDNOS (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and this book sounds like it might be helpful for our family.


20 Laura April 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I would love a copy of this book. I work with autistic kids in the summer and it would be nice to have! thanks for a chance! :)


21 Veggiemomof2 April 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm

As a mother of a child on the autism spectrum, I’d love this book to share w/my daughter & other family members!


22 Jenn April 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Would love to win! I have been watching Holly Robinson Pete on the Celebrity Apprentice where she is trying to win money for her autism charity.


23 Kirsten T. April 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Love to read this…before having kids, I used to take care of several autistic boys…varying levels on the spectrum. Thanks.


24 Angel Ledbetter April 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

I would love to get this book for a friend of mine who has an autistic son! It sounds like such a wonderful book!


25 Beth C April 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I’d love to have this book. Thanks for the chance!


26 Mary K aka angmag55 April 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I would Love to read this book as I have a Nephew with Autism and we are very proud of him as he is now getting his 2nd Degree from Collage his first one was in Computer Science and now he is going for his History degree. He is very knowing in History around the world and He can argue Politics till the cows come home!! LOL We all cherish him in our Family!!


27 John Ferris April 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The children would like this book.


28 Melissa A. April 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I would love to have a copy to share with my students, who are struggling to relate for one of our classmates with autism. Thanks for getting the word out about this book!


29 Rebecca April 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm

This book looks great…please enter me in this one. It’s great for all kids…not only kids who are personally dealing with autism.


30 Shannon Baas April 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I would like this for my friends kids.


31 Susan April 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

What a fantastic book. It is so important that we teach all children about autism. (This is Susan here, so please don’t count this comment as an entry in the giveaway.)


32 Michele Anne April 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Really wouls be great to win…..sign me up


33 susan April 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I would love to read this to my daughter.


34 Nicole C. April 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I would love to win this book.


35 angie April 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

This would be great for the classroom.


36 dj April 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm

please sign me up


37 Mellissa C April 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I would love to read this book and learn ore about this condition.


38 LaNette April 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Looks like a good book! Would love to win!!


39 Lela Wilson April 21, 2010 at 1:24 am

I would love to receive a copy of this book for my six year old son to read and relate better to children with autism, and then pass it along to one of my church members who one of her 3 sons has autism. Sounds like this could really help her other sons.


40 Wani April 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm

My second son has dramatic global developmental delays and is likely on the autism spectrum (though not yet diagnosed as such). We would love to have this book to help our older son understand him better. May have to buy it if I don’t win! ;-)


41 Deb April 21, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Sounds like a great book! Would love a copy!


42 Melissa B. April 24, 2010 at 11:33 am

Sounds like a sweet story.


43 Marc April 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm

A nice, heartfelt book I would love to educate my children with.


44 Charlene April 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

My nephew would love this. Thanks for offering it :)


45 Rebecca April 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

This book looks great!


46 Renee G April 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm

This looks like a great book.


47 Lily Kwan April 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!


48 kathy pease April 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)


49 kristi edwards April 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I have heard great things about this book, it is amazing what Holly is doing to help autistic children. I would love to win.


50 Gianna April 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Please enter me :)


51 Sharon Stoudt April 25, 2010 at 8:58 pm

My 9 year old son has moderate-to-severe autism. We’ve come so far with him, but still have so far to go. What a great resource to help ‘typical’ kids understand how a child on the spectrum sees the world!


52 James Coyne April 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Enter me please


53 heather c April 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I come into contact with more and more people dealing with autism. This should be required reading, so others who aren’t dealing with it will have a bit of understanding.


54 Annette W April 28, 2010 at 9:42 am

This would be great to help a sibling deal with any special needs, I suspect.


55 Julie (Knitting and Sundries) May 2, 2010 at 3:23 am

I don’t know if the giveaway is still open or not, but I want to thank you for highlighting this book. My son was diagnosed at 3 1/2 with PDD/NOS and I was told he would NEVER be mainstreamed. I worked very hard with him, reading up on all of the available therapy, putting him on a gluten-free diet and using vitamin therapy. I slowly began socializing him, and I am now proud to say that he is one of the top students in his school, and has friends, and is functioning very well. Of course, he still has the frustrations, but I taught him some coping skills and just repeated and repeated and repeated things like, “That’s not socially acceptable THIS is what you do when you feel that way.” I’m going to get this book for HIM, so that he can see that it’s not really just him that feels the way he does sometimes.


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