Jordan Singer, a budding writer in 6th grade, has written a wonderful story about his twin brother who has autism. With the help of his mother, Jodi, who edited the book, and illustrations by Jim Rosanio, the reader enters the world of an autistic child as viewed by his non-autistic brother.
In this fictional story based on Jordan (called Joey in the book) and his brother Ryan’s (Robbie’s) experiences, the reader gains a greater understanding of how difficult school is for both brothers. When the school places Robbie in the same class as Joey, problems arise that call on Joey to have the courage to explain why his brother acts the way he does. Joey speaks up despite his embarrassment at his brother’s behavior, especially when Robbie acts out with words or actions such as stimming by moving his fingers together very quickly in a repetitive motion.
At one point, the teacher explains to the class what autism is, talking about sensory overload and Robbie’s sensitivities to lights, sounds, smells, etc. A discussion follows among the classmates, and with it, greater understanding of Robbie’s autism.
The story is a wonderful tribute to both Jordan and his brother Ryan, because like Joey, Jordan has become his brother’s champion, helping others to understand autism.
As the author’s notes state, “If you are taking anything away from this book, let it be this: disabilities don’t affect who someone really is. Sure, they may talk or act differently, but deep down they’re just like you.”
Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson is a freelance writer. Find more of her work at menupause.info.
Book info: Making Lemonade from Lemons: An Autism Story (Peyton Press, $8.99). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Autism Speaks: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Lemonade-Lemons-Autism-Story/dp/0996308318/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8