A Manual for Marco

Shaila Abdullah, illus. by Shaila Abdullah and Iman Tejpar. Loving Healing (IPS, dist.), $14.95 paper (36p) ISBN 978-1-61599-247-8
In a story inspired by a real-life family, Abdullah, who tackled cerebral palsy in My Friend Suhana, discusses life with an autistic sibling, as described by a girl named Sofia. The story is constructed as entries in Sofia’s notebook, which she keeps “under lock and key” since her brother, Marco, has a tendency to hide things. Sofia is open about Marco’s strengths (“Marco can add, count, and subtract faster and higher than anyone I know”), as well as things that make him “not-so-special” at times (his difficulty handling departures from routine, for instance). The flattened digital cartoons don’t do much to establish the characters’ personalities, and Sofia’s narration can be wooden (“The amount of time we save on shopping allows for other fun activities, such as visits to the park or library”). Endnotes provide additional tips and information about interacting with those on the autism spectrum. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 36 pages - 978-1-61599-248-5
Ebook - 38 pages - 978-1-61599-249-2
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