Along the way, I’ll find random books that I want to check out because it piques my interest. I’m going to share one of those books with you – and the reasoning behind the…pique-ing. (That’s definitely not a word.)
This is called The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes. It was a random book I saw on Amazon. (I was getting the link for The Longest Night Watch anthology, and I saw this book on the main page.) The cover looked interesting enough, though it was clearly geared for younger kids. [Pretty soon, you can read a post on why I still read young adult and intermediate reader books, but I need to write it first.] It said something about being a book with a strong autistic main character, so I clicked on it. I saw the author lived in Washington state – like I did, so there was that connection too. I read the description of the book, and I just stopped. I was floored.
My three year old has autism. It’s been a challenge for me to learn how to see the world through his young eyes who don’t process the world like most three year olds. It’s been a journey of acceptance and unconditional love, and it hasn’t been easy. To know that people are writing books about CAPABLE main characters with autism warms my soul.
Representation is something really real. People want to be represented in a respectful way, and that includes people with autism. The overwhelming positive reviews for this book lets me know that not only would this be a great book for me to read as a mother of an autistic child, but, in a few years, it’ll be good for my son to read it too. I hope as more people are becoming aware and fighting the stigma against mental illness (and differences in general), there will be more literary characters with these traits flooding the mainstream. Until then, this book sounds like it’ll be really helpful in fighting that stigma surrounding autism.
*Please note that I haven’t actually read this book. I’m basing my opinion solely on the description of the book, the linked article provided above, and several reviews of the book.