Winner of the Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award.
Julie can't wait to go to the park and feed the ducks with her big sister Tara. There's only one problem. Her little brother, Ian, who has autism, wants to go too. At one point Ian wanders off on his own and Julie must try to see the world through his eyes in order to find him. In the desperate moments before she locates him, she realizes how much Ian means to her.
"Gr. 2-3, younger for reading aloud. So genuine are the paintings of narrator Julie, her big sister, Tara, and her younger autistic brother, Ian, that the three children look as though they will continue walking, tying a shoe, or feeding the ducks just as soon as the page is turned. As Tara and Julie take Ian along on their walk to the park, Julie describes how Ian acts differently from most people, showing no interest, for example, in the food or customers in Nan's diner and paying attention only to the rotating ceiling fan. Admirably patient with Ian, Julie nevertheless grows angry with his seemingly stubborn ways. Yet her close observations of her brother serve her well when Ian wanders away. By thinking of what Ian likes to do, Julie finds her brother and ushers him home again. Through its simple plot, the story conveys a complex family relationship and demonstrates the ambivalent emotions Julie feels about her autistic brother. This natural mix of resentment, anger, isolation, loyalty, and love is explained in preliminary notes written by professional pediatric caregivers. Sensitizing readers to these dynamics as well as to the autistic condition, this book offers a valuable, warmly told lesson."--Booklist
Ages 4-8. 32 pages. 2003
Together, we're always better. More fun, too.