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Kids Like Us by [Reyl, Hilary]
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Kids Like Us Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Age Level: 12 - 18 Grade Level: 7 - 13

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7–10—For the first time in his life, Martin Dubois, a 16-year-old with autism, has an opportunity to interact with and befriend neurotypical peers. He's attending a general education school in rural France while his film- director mother shoots a movie there, and the experience for him is confusing and frustrating, but also exhilarating. It is there that he first meets Simon, his school guide, and Alice, a girl who reminds him of Gilberte from In Search of Lost Time, a classic French novel he always keeps close by. Martin's eager and endearing attempts to fit in teach him new things about relationships, including the uncomfortable revelation that other people aren't always genuine. Reyl presents Martin as having high-functioning autism with mentions of echolalia, lack of eye contact, literal thinking, and rocking and moaning as a stress response. Martin is also physically attractive, which some characters explain is why others treat him in certain ways, such as mistaking him for neurotypical. Reyl tries to present Martin's atypical mannerisms authentically through first-person narration, which results in the text consisting of short, straightforward sentences. The lens of his social and emotional intelligence also results in secondary characters that lack depth, despite the author's attempts to hint at further development beyond Martin's perspective. In addition, Martin makes mistakes with using the wrong pronouns when stressed, which is not explained to readers until much later. These confusing details, as well as the somewhat improbable and unrelatable setting, may present barriers to some. VERDICT This overall sweet but challening story is an additional purchase.—Alea Perez, Westmont Public Library, IL


"While Reyl hasn't broken the mold of autistic teen protagonists, Martin is a credit to the growing corpus, with multimodal idiosyncrasies that he builds on rather than buries and a validating first-person narrative and first romance. A charming teen debut." ―Kirkus

"Reyl movingly captures the point of view of a person who sees the world in a completely
different way. Her writing is lucid and luminous, and the first-person narrative has a cinematic quality as Martin processes the world around him. Charming, thoughtful Martin is easy to root for, and readers will cheer as he triumphs over obstacles." ―Booklist starred review

"The original narrative voice of 16-year-old Martin drives adult author Reyl’s insightful and multilayered first book for teens, which brims with nostalgia, romance, complex supporting characters, and fascinating introspection... Martin’s childhood memories, such as his parents’ early distress at his diagnosis (“We thought he was so cute, and he’s actually Rain Man”), blend seamlessly into the narrative, while Martin’s reflections on “the neurodiversity movement,” and efforts to “cure” autism raise thought-provoking ethical questions." ―Publishers Weekly starred review

"...the book’s indebtedness to Proust goes beyond lyrical phrases to a thematic embrace of the slow savoring of the richness of human experience. In the end, however, it is Martin’s ability to move beyond “things past” to the possibilities that open up when you accept yourself and others that gives this wise story its resonance."―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"Reyl succeeds in portraying the various bubbles people live in and where and how they might find common ground...Martin is a likable protagonist, and the denouement―with Martin moving beyond Proust to see himself not as “an old man with regrets” but as a young man at the beginning of his life―is optimistic yet realistic."―The Horn Book

"Martin’s first-person, and sometimes second-person, engaging voice gives insight into the unique way he sees the world and other people. The atypical romance is endearing but it is Martin’s relationships with his friends and, especially, with his missing father that are central to his growth. Teens who enjoy quirky contemporary stories will appreciate Martin." ―VOYA

Product details

  • File Size: 1156 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (November 14, 2017)
  • Publication Date: November 14, 2017
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071V56FD7
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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November 14, 2017
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