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Book Reviews   |    
My Brother's Keeper: A Kindergartner's View of Autism
Reviewed by Tess McCabe
Psychiatric Services 2006; doi:
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by Jace Richards and D. R. Richards; Rome, Georgia, MBK Publishing, 2005, 19 pages, $19

Ms. McCabe, age 11, lives in Grafton, Massachusetts.

The short, educational picture book called My Brother's Keeper is about Jace, a 6-year-old, who tells the story of his brother Justin and Justin's autism. Jace and his mom wrote the book. It tells the story of how Jace and his brother, Justin, get used to autism, after they find out Justin has it. I think kids with autism and their brothers and sisters would like this book, because it proves that there are people like them and people to help them. I think the book could use a definition of autism. A definition is in the beginning, before the story starts, but it should be easier to understand for younger people. I think autism means that a person has trouble organizing information and it causes him or her to have trouble interacting with people. Some people might skip over the beginning, and autism doesn't really have a good definition in the story.

The book is sweet and interesting to read. It has that charm that short books have, and it has a nice way of putting things. The pictures are nice and various. You could read the book once for the words and another time just to look at the pictures. Most of the pictures are of Justin or Justin with Jace. My mom, who is a child psychiatrist, says that she thought the book gives the impression that going to the doctor won't do any good and will just hurt the child, but going to the chiropractor will help a lot. She might have said this because a poem at the end of the book says that a special school and going to the chiropractor are better than any pill. She says it wouldn't be educational for anyone but kids, and she worries people may get the wrong impression about treatment for autism. In my opinion, though, I think it's a great story about a child with autism and his everyday life, and many will enjoy reading it over and over.

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