Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
I have to do this before I start course discussion because otherwise I start thinking about mode and tone when what I really want to put here is gut reaction. I was skeptical at first. I hadn’t had much exposure to autism until last semester. I’d still be curious the opinion of autism specialists and especially other high functioning autistic students but right now all I have is me. Marcelo loves his school Paterson and the ponies and the people, but the summer before his senior year his dad gives him a choice- spend the summer at Paterson but have to go to public high school for his senior year or work for the summer at the law firm and get to choose where to spend his senior year. Marcelo is a high functioning autistic most accurately described by Asberger’s Syndrome but he feels like it isn’t fair to describe him in that way when he feels like he is much luckier than most. There is a certain religious basis to the action, but it is broad from Buddhism to Judaism and I think it is beautifully done. I really don’t know what to say other than that when I finished it was an actual wow that escaped my lips as I closed the book.