In My World
Written by Jillian Ma
Illustrated by Mimi Chao
Published by Future Horizons
Publication date: 4th August 2017
Summary (from Goodreads):
A simple, heartfelt story that follows the life of a child with autism through his imaginative journey as he seeks to be accepted, loved and celebrated for his strengths and abilities. Despite the qualities that make children on the autism spectrum exceptional, they all have hopes, dreams and feelings of belonging that all children desire. This book is a powerful reminder that with a little help from each of us, children with autism can fulfill their dreams.
In my world my dreams have no end.
I am always looking for great diversity in books, especially those with positive representations of minorities, regardless of how someone is a minority. There are an increasing number of children with autism in mainstream education in the U.K. because of a trend towards inclusion rather than specialist provision. I think there is a need for books to educate teacher, staff and pupils, as well as to allow autistic children to see themselves in the books they are surrounded by.
This book is beautifully-illustrated and has a very simple, heartfelt yet heartbreaking message at its core. How many people, when looking at an autistic child, focus on the autism and not the child? Like every child, each person is an individual and autism is just part of what makes them who they are. I have yet to meet a child with autism who is any more similar to another child with autism than they are to any other child!
This book is a worthy addition to any classroom, providing lots of opportunities for discussion and deepening understanding.
In your world, I have autism.
What I liked: Beautiful illustrations, aspirational and timely message which is important to share with children, greater depiction of non-neurotypical people in books is always a positive.
Even better if: As a teacher, it would be useful to have some information about autism at the back – ideally something presented in a child-friendly format so we can build on the message in the book by discussing it with our pupils.
How you could use it in your classroom: To remind everyone, adults and children alike that someone is much more than their label, particularly in the current climate in the U.K. where children who would have previously been catered for in specialist provision are now in mainstream classes. To introduce more diverse books into your daily reading.
(Thank you to Netgalley and Future Horizons for my e-ARC)