Russell's World: A Story for Kids about Autism

Russell's World: A Story for Kids about Autism

by Charles A. Amenta, Monika Pollak
     
 

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Russell is a boy with severe autism, and this is his story. In Russell's World, the reader sees the surprises, challenges, and problems that Russell and his family experience as well as the happiness and rewards they recognize. Real-life family pictures and heart-warming stories about living with Russell help readers understand autism and empathize with children

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Overview

Russell is a boy with severe autism, and this is his story. In Russell's World, the reader sees the surprises, challenges, and problems that Russell and his family experience as well as the happiness and rewards they recognize. Real-life family pictures and heart-warming stories about living with Russell help readers understand autism and empathize with children who have it. A Note to Parents supplies further information.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Maggie L. Schrock
Russell is nine, and the older brother of two younger boys, Benjamin and Gregory. Russell has autism, which often makes him behave differently than other children do. Benjamin and Gregory know Russell has autism, and help him to learn from them. However, like many kids with autism, Russell struggles with learning new things. Since he doesn't speak, life for Russell is difficult, causing him to scream or cry, but his parents and teachers have taught Russell some sign language to help him. A food lover, Russell's parents reward him with cheerios when learning something new. Nighttime is especially hard for Russell, but Benjamin and Gregory help him calm down and go to sleep. Written by his father, this book opens Russell's world for us to peak into with the hopes of opening minds and aiding acceptance. Written for children, this is an educational story to teach young readers to understand why children with autism may behave differently. Pages in the back can help adults learn how to help children with autism. Reviewer: Maggie L. Schrock
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Originally published in 1992 as Russell Is Extra Special (Magination Pr.), this book tells the story of Russell's autism and uses photographs of the boy and his two brothers cleverly overlaid with new artwork. Written by his dad using simple language and engaging photos, the narrative presents Russell's behavior and differences as acceptable and nonthreatening. While basic facts are shared, Amenta is careful to point out that not all children will act in this way as autism has no "typical" behavior. He does indicate that some of these behaviors can be expected from those on the autism spectrum. Notes to parents include tips for finding services and hints for ensuring that siblings of children with autism are not left out. While this book could be used in classrooms, it will prove most useful in families who have neurotypical children as well as youngsters with autism.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Likable young Russell puts a face on autism. Amenta's experience with his own son (now grown) shapes this heartfelt approach. This child craves routine and rituals and struggles to relate to his younger brothers. Similarities between Russell and his siblings reveal emotional depth, though, occasionally, earnest simplifications lead to vague statements. ("Not all kids with autism have a hard time learning. Some are really smart and a few are even extraordinary!") Focusing on Russell's experiences, the book avoids sweeping generalizations while fairly outlining the condition's complexities. The objective tone describes oddities in behavior through nonjudgmental language. Notably, the book eschews discussion of the controversy surrounding the diagnosis. A lengthy author's note encourages families to seek professional support, but it does not include a list of recommended, current resources. Vivid mixed-media spreads include black-and-white childhood photos and display a hodgepodge of household objects and crayon scribbles; each element vies for control of the cluttered mind. Though Russell remains nonverbal, his expressive eyes depict each intense reaction. Busy spreads reveal his isolation and frustration as he fights for control. Supportive without sugarcoating, this realistic account of a disorder that affects so many contains at its core a raw emotional heart. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433809767
Publisher:
American Psychological Association
Publication date:
03/15/2011
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
1,382,078
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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