for Can You See Me? by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott
Tally is anxious about starting middle school. Her best friend Layla will be there, but she’s still afraid of getting lost or overwhelmed, and worries about not knowing the rules, social and otherwise. Layla is the only person who knows that Tally, who is white, is autistic (a term Tally uses). Tally works hard to fit in at school; it’s exhausting, and made more challenging by Luke, a classmate who gives her an especially hard time. At home, Tally’s supportive parents are sometimes exasperated by her behavior, as is her older sister, Nell, who often gets fed up. A story told in third person is punctuated by first-person diary entries in Tally’s voice written by coauthor Libby Scott, a 12-year-old with autism. The result is a novel offering incredible insight into Tally’s particular experience and outlook. Tally is smart, funny, observant, and sensitive. She knows what she needs from others and longs to be seen as a person rather than her diagnosis, which includes “pathological demand avoidance,” a condition that makes it nearly impossible for her to perform any task that has been directly demanded of her. Tally also has frequent meltdowns, which, unlike tantrums, she explains, she can’t control. And she experiences anxiety—a lot. Sometimes, wearing her special tiger mask helps; in fact, Tally thinks Tiger Girl is braver than regular Tally. But of course they are one and the same, something Tally is learning to embrace. (Ages 9-12)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
A coming-of-age story about learning to celebrate yourself -- and teaching the world to recognize you, too -- perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio's Wonder!"This glimpse into the world of a young autistic girl is astonishingly insightful and honest. Tally's struggles to 'fit in' are heart-wrenching, and her victories are glorious." -- Ann M. Martin, Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author of Rain ReignThings Tally is dreading about sixth grade:-- Being in classes without her best friends-- New (scratchy) uniforms-- Hiding her autismTally isn't ashamed of being autistic -- even if it complicates life sometimes, it's part of who she is. But this is her first year at Kingswood Academy, and her best friend, Layla, is the only one who knows. And while a lot of other people are uncomfortable around Tally, Layla has never been one of them . . . until now.Something is different about sixth grade, and Tally now feels like she has to act "normal." But as Tally hides her true self, she starts to wonder what "normal" means after all and whether fitting in is really what matters most.Inspired by young coauthor Libby Scott's own experiences with autism, this is an honest and moving middle-school story of friends, family, and finding one's place.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.