#WeNeedDiverseBooks summer reading series! If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, try Marcelo in the Real World by Francesco X. Stork because both are fabulous stories about autism spectrum boys finding their way in the world.
I don’t agree with how the characters in these books are described as “autism spectrum boys.” A more inclusive description would be, “boys with autism spectrum disorder.” Generally, when referring to an individual with an exceptionality or special needs, don’t say “_____ boy/girl/person/etc.”, say “boy/girl/person/etc. with _____.” The former description erases the fact that the person is a unique individual on their own; instead they become their exceptionality first and then a person after.
Moreover, one of the reasons I love Marcelo in the Real World so much is because it’s not a book that features a character with ASD and then proceeds to point at the fact that he has autism for the entire book. When you read the book, it’s not like you’re left with the impression that all Marcelo has to offer to the story is his ASD. No- this story is about Marcelo, who has many facets to his personhood, trying to come to terms with complicated moral questions.
I just think it’s important to think about the words we use and how we use them.
But, regardless, I’m happy that the We Need Diverse Books team is bringing this wonderful novel to the attention of more people! Seriously, it’s a must read!