Hands holding AUTISM word, mental health concept, world autism awareness day

6 Great Kids Books for World Autism Month

April is World Autism Month, where stories are shared and communities get together to educate and ultimately increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with autism. World Autism Month kicks off TODAY, April 2nd, with World Autism Awareness day. 

To celebrate this month, MCPL would like to highlight some of our favorite juvenile reads about Autism and by authors with Autism: 

Benji, the Bad Day, and Me by Sally J. Pla is a picture book about being a sibling of someone with autism. Nothing went right for Sammy today. He got in trouble at school, the cafeteria ran out of pizza and he had to walk home in the rain. When Sammy gets home, he finds out that his autistic little brother, Benji, also had a bad day and is spending some time in his special box, where he feels safe and warm. But Sammy doesn’t have a special box and he thinks no one cares. But someone does care and someone is watching, and that someone might just have the very thing to make Sammy’s bad day go away.  

Can You See Me? by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott, is a juvenile fiction novel, inspired by Scott’s own experiences with autism. Even though Tally’s life is complicated, she isn’t ashamed about having autism. But something is different about sixth grade. Tally’s best friend is acting weird and the more Tally tries to be “normal,” the harder things get. For Tally, fitting in may not be all it’s cracked up to be.  

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey is a picture book from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum. In Classroom Six, Henry has been looking for a friend. Someone kind, someone who shares and listens. Someone who likes things just the way Henry likes them. On a day where things are too loud and too wrong, can Henry find a friend or will a friend find him instead? With warm, simple illustrations but Mika Song, this 2020 Schneider Family Honor Book celebrates the patience of friendship. 

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit, is a story in letters about a girl on a mission. Vivy Cohen wants to play baseball more than anything, even though her mom says she can’t because she’s a girl and because she has autism. But things are changing for Vivy Cohen, a little league coach invites her to play ball and Vivy’s hero, Major League star pitcher VJ Capello, becomes her pen pal. Now Vivy knows, anything is possible. Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! is a 2021 Middle Grade Schneider Family Honor book. 

My Rainbow by mother-daughter duo, DeShanna and Trinity Neal, follows the real life story of one mothers journey to create the perfect, colorful wig for her transgender daughter, who is also on the spectrum. Trinity wants long hair like her dolls, but it has to be perfect and it has to be her. With beautiful illustrations by Art Twink, this picture book celebrates seeing and being seen. 

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos, is a story about hope and perseverance through tragedy, told through the eyes a nonverbal girl with a passion for space exploration. Twelve-year-old Nova can’t wait for the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, which is going to take the first teacher into space. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, love all things space, but Bridget is missing and Nova is in a new foster home. As the day of the launch grows near, Nova worries that Bridget is going to break her promise to be there by liftoff.