My 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.