My Brother Charlie (2010) by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, illustrated by Shane W. Evans.
Callie and Charlie are twins and share a lot of things: curly hair and brown eyes, their dog, Harriet, rolling in the grass, music, football. But at some point in their young lives, Charlie is diagnosed with autism.
This story is told through the POV of Callie and chronicles her love for her brother and also her frustrations having a brother with autism.
“Charlie is good at so much. He knows the names of all the American presidents! He’s a fish in the water…He likes to show off his shell collection, his new sneakers, and how well he plays ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider” on the piano….Charlie has autism. But autism doesn’t have Charlie. If you ever get to meet my brother, you’ll feel lucky to be his friend. He won’t care if you have the coolest sneakers, or if you are the best at sports. He’ll just like you for who you really are. That’s Charlie.”
This book is written by Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Peete. Holly’s son (who is Ryan’s twin brother) was diagnosed with autism. They both want to help us understand how to be there for kids on the spectrum.
The book also includes some lessons that Ryan would like others to know, excerpted below:
-If someone who has autism doesn’t respond right away when you speak to him, it doesn’t mean he’s being rude. Socializing can be challenging for people with autism.
-Many people have trouble making friends, but it’s even harder for boys and girls with autism. Include people with autism even more than you would others.