From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Alexander tells about his life with his two-year-old brother, who is not yet verbal and who won't play with him. Benjamin also exhibits strange behaviors. Then he is diagnosed with autism. When two teachers come to the house to help him with his language and social skills, Alexander is jealous of the extra attention his brother receives. As time passes, Benjamin begins to develop some language and is now able to play with Alexander, who is no longer embarrassed to have friends over. Realistic illustrations depict the characters and their emotions. The story's message is obvious and direct, as well as somewhat unrealistic considering that not all youngsters will make the progress shown by Benjamin. Still, the book may be useful as an introduction for young children who have a sibling with this condition.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
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Alexander is trying to work out his feelings for his younger brother, Benjamin, who is autistic. He is especially jealous that two teachers come each day to work with Benjamin. After Alexander finally acts out his rage by spilling water onto Benjamin’s bed, his father comes up with the idea of taking Alexander camping—just the two of them. Eventually, Alexander feels wanted again, and learns to appreciate Benjamin for the brother he is. The text has verb tense issues and the portrayals of the characters are inconsistent in the illustrations. An author’s note at the beginning introduces the disorder to adults, but missing is a note for siblings that would explain more about the condition, including conversation starters to help the unafflicted sibling feel empowered to ask questions and discuss his or her feelings. However, this book is a serviceable introduction to having a younger sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially given that there are few books for young children on this topic. Grades 1-4. --Bina Williams