April 2, 2016: World Autism Awareness Day

Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. Celebrate this day in your classroom or library with Canadian kids’ books!

Are You Seeing MeAre You Seeing Me?
Written by Darren Groth
Orca Book Publishers, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4598-1079-2
IL: Ages 12 and up  RL: Grades 7-8
Siblings | Autism | Letting Go | Family | Adventure | Loss | Love
Twins Justine and Perry have left Australia and embarked on a road trip in the Pacific Northwest. When their dad died, Justine became caregiver for her autistic brother, who has now been accepted into a group home. Before he moves in, the twins want to create the perfect memory. For Perry, the trip is a celebration; for Justine, it’s an opportunity to learn how to let go.
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PrintAutism Spectrum Disorder
(Understanding Mental Health)
Written by Marguerite Rodger
Crabtree Publishing, 2014
ISBN 978-0-7787-0087-6
IL: Ages 10-13 RL: Grades 5-6
Autism | Autism Spectrum Disorder | Mental Health
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of disorders that affect brain development. The syndromes within ASD include autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders and others. This informative book provides insight into how people diagnosed with an ASD experience the world and promotes understanding and acceptance. A chapter titled “ASD Toolbox” gives positive tips and tricks to cope with the daily realities of living with an ASD.
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Better Than Weird Better Than Weird
Written by Anna Kerz
Orca Book Publishers, 2011
ISBN 978-1-55469-362-7
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-6
Families | Bullying | Friendship | Autism
In this stand-alone sequel to The Mealworm Diaries, Aaron has made a couple of friends and at least one enemy. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of his father, whom he hasn’t seen in many years, Aaron is trying to cope with bullying at school, his grandmother’s illness and his father’s pregnant new wife. Aaron worries his father will think he’s too weird and leave again and wonders how he can make his dad proud.
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Written by Alma Fullerton
Dancing Cat Books, 2010|
ISBN 978-1-897151-95-2
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7
Abandonment | Resentment | Autism | Adoption
This powerful free-verse novel explores Casey’s desperate attempt to take care of her autistic sister and keep her family together after her mother leaves. To find comfort, Casey becomes obsessed with building fires to send smoke signals to her mother, hoping she’ll see them and come back. When the everyday pressures get to be too much for Casey, her obsession with fire escalates into a very dangerous situation.
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Encyclopedia of MeThe Encyclopedia of Me
Written by Karen Rivers
Arthur A. Levine Books 2012
ISBN 978-0-545-31028-4
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 5-7
Relationships | Autism | Family | Siblings
Tink Aaron-Martin was grounded so she wrote an encyclopedia of her life from “Aa” to “Zoo.” She has two older brothers — Lex and Seb — and Seb has autism (but Tink doesn’t really want to talk about that). As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink’s summer adventure with her best friend, Freddie Blue Anderson, and the new boy who just moved in next door.
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Fragile BonesFragile Bones: Harrison & Anna
(One-2-One, Book 1)
Written by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Clockwise Press, 2015
ISBN 978-0-99393-510-7
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Autism | Best Buddies Program | Differences | Acceptance | Inclusion | Friendship
Fifteen-year-old Harrison recites the name of every bone in the skeletal system whenever he gets anxious. He doesn’t understand most people, and they certainly don’t understand him. Anna is a high-achieving senior, bolstering her med school applications by joining the Best Buddies club at school. This is the story of Harrison and Anna, and how their lives intertwine in unexpected ways.
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I Can Fix ItI Can Fix It! A Tale from the Iris the Dragon Series
Written by Gayle Grass
Illustrated by Graham Ross
Iris the Dragon, 2009
ISBN 978-0-9688532-3-8
IL: Ages 10-13  RL: Grades 5-6
Bullying | Feelings | Asperger’s Syndrome
A young girl named Josie experiences teasing and bullying from her classmates. To others, Josie appears shy or not friendly and she often gets angry when something confuses her. She meets Iris the Dragon and learns how to relate to others and develop resilience in her life with the support of a caring community. This is a story about Asperger’s Syndrome and an opportunity for children to identify with the thoughts, feelings and actions of one who suffers from a form of autism.
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I'm HereI’m Here
Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011
ISBN 978-1-4169-9649-1
IL: Ages 6-8 RL: Grades 2-3
Friendship | Similarities / Differences | Autism
This deceptively simple text with its endearing illustrations packs a punch. Written “to help us all reach out, embrace and appreciate children in the autism spectrum, as well as anyone who is different from ourselves,” this book tells the story of a little boy playing alone on the playground. A surprising thing happens, though, and a friendship is blown his way!
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White BicycleThe White Bicycle
(The Wild Orchid Trilogy)
Written by Beverley Brenna
Red Deer Press, 2012
ISBN 978-0-88995-483-0
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 8-9
Asperger’s Syndrome | Independence | France
Taylor Jane, a young woman with Asperger’s syndrome, travels to the south of France with her mother to work for the summer. While on this journey, Taylor embarks on another quest for independence as she casts her mind back to her earliest memories to make sense of the present. This is the sequel to Wild Orchid and Waiting for No One.
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