Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Awesome Fiction & Chapter Books that Feature Autistic Characters

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This list of fiction and chapter books feature autistic characters. So if you're been looking for autism fiction and autism chapter book suggestions, then start with these awesome book picks!

Both children and adults alike should feel as if they are represented in literature in someway, regardless of race, religion, background, or disability.

My hope is to compile a great list of autism fiction and chapter books that really capture a variety of autistic perspectives in literature. I have tried my best to select books that feature autistic characters that feel as authentic and realistic as possible, as a way to truly capture and show what it's like to grow up as autistic.

Now, having said that, I am not autistic myself so I don't truly know what's it like to be autistic. However, I do believe that the books listed here are pretty good at capturing various aspects of the spectrum. I also found myself nodding along to each of these books, on more than one occasion, thinking about how my autistic son does that too or thinks that way, etc. So I do feel confident that these selections are truly representative.

I have personally read each of these autism fiction and chapter books myself and will be adding to this list as I find new favorites. And if you know me well or follow me on Instagram, then you know that I'm on a mission to read a lot of books this year so it won't take me long to add new books to this list!

A list of autism fiction and autism chapter books that feature autistic characters

Autism Fiction & Chapter Books

By Mark Haddon

I saw this book recommended in a hyperlexia support group and it got me curious. The main character, Christopher, is an autistic teenager who loves prime numbers and knows all the countries of the world (something many hyperlexic kids do too!). He sets out to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog.

At first, I was confused by the chapter numbers, but it soon makes sense when you learn about the main character's love for prime numbers. Overall, it's a really interesting read and gives great insight into the mind of an autistic teenager.

By Corinne Duyvis

Set in the future, this book is about an autistic teenager named Denise and her family trying to obtain a spot on ship set to leave Earth after a comet has hit the planet. Her mother is a drug addict and her sister, Iris, is missing. Denise sets out to find her sister while trying to prove her worth so that she and her family can get one of those limited spots on the ship.

I couldn't put this book down. It was so good! I also love that the author herself, Corinne Duyvais, is autistic, which really helped to make Denise's character more authentic and realistic. She's a really likable character. Another thing to note about this book is the diversity of the characters. There's everything from the autistic protagonist to a transgender character. Tons of diversity!

By Kathryn Erksine

This book is about a young girl named Caitlin who has Asperger's. She and her dad are coping with the sudden death of her brother Devon who was killed in a school shooting (so yeah, content warning there for you). Caitlin sets out to find closure to this devastating event and discovers friendship along the way. Caitlin interprets things so literally in the world around her, but I really appreciated reading her insights. I truly feel like Caitlin's character is an authentic representation of a young female with Asperger's. The story was moving and interesting. A really great book, even though it does focus on a pretty deep and emotional topic.

Autism Chapter Books for Younger Children

By Elana K. Arnold

I cannot say enough positive things about this book, as well as its sequel. They are both very sweet books about an autistic boy called, yep you guessed it, Bat. His mother is a veterinarian who brings home a newborn skunk kit after its mother is killed and Bat immediately falls in love with the kit, wanting to help raise it.

I personally loved seeing Bat's insights into how he interpreted the world around him. I also appreciate the portrayal of Bat's divorced parents in a positive light, making this book a great read for kids who have divorced parents. I also enjoyed how Bat's relationship with his sister was pretty realistic with its ups and downs.

By Elana K. Arnold

This book is the follow-up to A Boy Called Bat and, to be honest, I think I enjoyed this book even more so than the first. It really focuses on Bat's developing friendship with a classmate named Israel. Just an overall great book! I highly recommend both Bat books (and I think there's a third coming out soon too!) as an independent read for your child and as a read aloud at home or in the classroom.

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A list of autism fiction and autism chapter books that feature autistic characters

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2 comments:

  1. I found a series by Kelsey Abrams good. My son is 6 and when we started chapter books he loved these as there is still soe pictures through it. There was 3 books in the series, all sisters that live together on a farm. Each book is a story about the individual girls so they work great together. Abby's story - "I'ts Not Destiny" was my son's favourite (and the only one of the girls with autism), it helped us talk about how to accept things about ourselves and what we need and he related to the main character.
    The other books were a great to accompany it as Abby features a little but it is nice to see how the girls also have their own interests and feelings and it all works together. The other two are "Wld Midnight" and "Taking Chances"

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    1. I will have to look into this series. Thanks!

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