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My Brother Charlie
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My Brother Charlie

3.9 10
by Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete

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From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete--a heartwarming story about a boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly's son, who has autism.

"Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It's harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe." But as his big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can't do well


From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete--a heartwarming story about a boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly's son, who has autism.

"Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It's harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe." But as his big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can't do well, there are plenty more things that he's good at. He knows the names of all the American presidents. He knows stuff about airplanes. And he can even play the piano better than anyone he knows.

Actress and national autism spokesperson Holly Robinson Peete collaborates with her daughter on this book based on Holly's 10-year-old son, who has autism.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Charlie and Callie share a special bond as twins. They are alike yet different. As Callie tells the story about her brother who is two minutes older, she reveals that he has autism. In a sisterly, warmhearted manner, Callie provides her view of her brother as she tells about Charlie's many special talents like the way he handles their dog, Harriett. She describes how Charlie's world is different when he communicates; she tries to understand his differences with sisterly patience and love. Callie's story reveals the compassion and love of a family who values Charlie for who he is. They celebrate his growing list of accomplishments. From the story, the lines "Charlie has autism. But autism doesn't have Charlie" are a part of the heart-rich and passionate theme. Illustrations warmly fill the pages of this loving story based on the authors' experiences. At the back of the book, the authors' intents are explained. This story helps to shed some light on autism and how one family faces the challenges and celebrates progresses. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Twins Callie and Charlie have a lot in common, but they are also very different: Charlie has autism. Callie narrates the story, describing what autism is and exploring the issues that come along with it. The theme is of love, patience, and acceptance. Endnotes give a few basic facts for children unfamiliar with the disorder. The authors, a mother-daughter team, based this story on personal experience. Evans's bright, mixed-media illustrations skillfully depict the family's warmth and concern. Pair this with Ouisie Shapiro's Autism and Me: Sibling Stories (Albert Whitman, 2009) to raise awareness and understanding of autism. This title should have a place in most library collections.—Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Publishers Weekly
This mother-daughter author team base their thoughtful and moving story on their experiences living with Ryan’s autistic brother, RJ. Callie, a candid narrator whose twin brother is autistic, explains that “Charlie’s brain works in a special way.” She mentions the boy’s strong will (“When Charlie wants something, nothing stops him. Even when it’s dangerous”) and tendency to withdraw into his own world, acknowledging that “there are days when it’s hard to be Charlie’s sister.” Yet she also documents Charlie’s talents and the good times they share. Her often-silent brother has taught Callie important lessons, among them “love doesn’t always come from what you say. It can also come from what you do.” Throughout, Callie demonstrates maturity and loyalty: “We love Charlie strong. We watch over him with the might of angels. We have to.” Equally expressive, Evans’s (When Gorilla Goes Walking) mixed-media art features closeup images of the siblings and their parents and conveys the wide range of emotions all experience. The authors’ postscripts offer background and advice for families dealing with someone with autism. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Mother and daughter co-authors write about the experience of having an autistic child in the family. Callie, Charlie's twin sister, talks directly to readers, telling them how she and her brother are alike and about the fundamental differences that led her mother to seek medical advice for Charlie. Callie very plainly talks about the joys and frustrations of having Charlie for a brother and emotionally reveals the many ways Charlie has of showing his family the "I love yous" that his autism tries to lock inside. Most evident is the pride Callie has in Charlie. She clearly sees him as a person, with personality and interests, who is smart and caring. "If you ever get to meet my brother, you'll feel lucky to be his friend." Endnotes from the authors tell more of the Peete family story. Evans's mixed-media artwork employs a lot of texture, adding patterning and interest to the simple, uncluttered design. Full-bleed illustrations and up-close views of the characters make this a great choice for group sharing. A seldom-seen perspective on autism delivered concisely and with empathy. (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.92(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.35(d)
AD540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

We’ve always been together—even in mommy’s tummy, my twin brother, Charlie and I.

We still share lots of things:

Curly hair and brown eyes.

How much we love hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Rolling in the grass.


Meet the Author

Holly Robinson Peete is the author of the 2006 Quill Award Sports Book of the Year, GET YOUR OWN DAMN BEER--I'M WATCHING THE GAME: A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVING PRO FOOTBALL, based on her 14 years of NFL wifedom--she is married to Rodney Peete, ex-quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Holly is most known for her roles on "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" and "21 Jump Street." Holly and Rodney founded the HollyRod foundation, dedicated to providing medical, physical, and emotional support to those suffering with debilitating life circumstances, especially Parkinson’s Disease.

Customer Reviews

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My Brother Charlie 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story would be very helpful for any family with a child who has autism. Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter, Ryan Peete have created an inspirational story for families with children of all ages. In making the story relatable to any age range, the reader is able to better understand what life is like when living with a brother, sister, son, or daughter who has autism. Very inspirational for any family member having a hard time understanding what is happening with their child, grandchild, sibling, etc. Autism speaks, it's time to listen. If you have a child who has autism, remember this: Your child may have autism, but autism does not have your child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son's doctor read this book to my daughter in an attempt to help her understand and deal with her brother's diagnosis. She seemed to warm to it, so I ordered it, and now she and her other brother choose it often as a bedtime story! It is almost harshly honest at certain points, but from a sibling's point of view I find it refreshing and helpful. Sometimes, my kids get tired of being nice and just need to say, "this stinks". The book then turns around and gives all of the positives. Very good at pointing out that different doesn't mean less wonderful. However, if you're dealing with any sort of non-verbal or limited verbal autism, be prepared to cry at some point. I have been very happy that I ordered it. Definitely recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely picture book with a story that shows the disappointments and joys of having a sibling who is autistic. Children with autistic siblings will easily relate to the story. Children without much knowledge about autism will get an easy to understand introduction to autism. Great for classroom use, too!
samiam11 More than 1 year ago
Our Grandson was just diaganosed with being on the spectrum of Autism. Because it was caught so early , in the last 6 months, a boy who was not speaking at all and has had alot of therapy is excelling in hundreds of way. This book is a story of hope and understanding of Autism and how it can affect the siblings in the family. WE were going thru 10 weeks of training on how to handle different situations with our Grandson. I let the teacher read this book during a break and she welled up with tears. I gave the book to our Grandson's older sister. She understands that he has this, but not exactly what its all about or How it may make him different. We hope the book will help her to understand better how he may be different. We loved the book
rtweto More than 1 year ago
This book was informative and helped me to better understand autism and how it affects siblings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MizzJ More than 1 year ago
My Goddaughter truly enjoyed this book. The characters were motivating and educational with a valuable lesson that portrayed a great story line. Illustrations were very easy to understand for the age group that it was focused on. I enjoyed reading it with her and helping her to understand the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EddyKaneJr More than 1 year ago
My son received this for his birthday. He is five and his autistic brother is 6, the book was a great way for me to explain to my youngest son that he is not the only one in the world with an autistic sibling who seems not to love him. I liked the personal story and I think the book was great. It was great to read with him and talk about situations he could relate to. And the ending was positive!