I was given a copy of My Brother Charlie
by Holly Robsinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete to review. I am also very
excited to announce that 1 of my readers will win an autographed copy of
the book and 2 other readers will win a copy of the book! 3
winners, how exciting!
Holly Robinson Peete (you know her from the TV show Hangin with Mr.
Cooper) has used her celebrity status to promote Autism awareness and
advocate on behalf of families affected with the spectrum disorder.
She and her 12 year old daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, wrote My
based on their experiences with Ryan's twin
brother, RJ. Their story is intended to "help share awareness about
Autism with other children who have been touched by it in some way."
As a parent of one child on the spectrum and one Neuro-Typical child,
this book was incredibly meaningful. My husband and I consider how we
will explain to
what Jaylen having Autism and Xavier not having
Autism really means, and how it will affect each of them.
The first thing I noticed were the illustrations. Shane W. Evans created vibrant pictures with few distractions.
Simple picture like paintings make it easy for kids on the spectrum to focus.
Holly and Ryan have a great way of describing how kids on the spectrum
are different. The details are spot on and
I see in my children. I love how they explain the family always
knew something was different about
Charlie, as most Autie parents and siblings do.
There is no sugar coating in this book. The family is noticeably
concerned as you can see in their sad and angry faces, and from the
words they use. But there are cheerful descriptions of the good times
surrounded by Autism. The siblings have fun together and love each
other in their own way. In fact, you get the feeling that Autism has
made their relationship more meaningful.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when they describe Charlie's attributes. He has some
special skills and obsessions, as most kids on the spectrum do. Once
again, this part was significant to me and
will mean so much to my boys when they are older. Jaylen has some
amazing talents and skills in certain areas, and has many obsessions and
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies. They also send the message that being non-verbal
is OK. That is so important for kids with Autism and for kids who know
others who are non-verbal.
It was very obvious to me My Brother Charlie
by people who have had first hand experience with Autism. Even the
last illustration of the twin siblings doing a puzzle speaks to anyone aware of the nationally linked Autism
symbol. The disorder truly is a complex puzzle.
The bottom line is that Autism makes the siblings different. Not worse
or better in any way, just different. And their relationship is
strongly built through and around the disorder. I would recommend this
book to children ages 5 and up. The subject matter is a little too
sophisticated for children under 5, especially those with special
needs. But this will be a must read in my house in about a year. It
is one of the best children's book dealing with Autism I have seen.
1 winner will receive an autographed copy of the book and 2 readers will
win a hardcover copy of the book.
Visit my blog to enter: http://mommytotwoboys.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-brother-charlie-book-...