Reviews for Autism, The Invisible Cord : A Sibling's Diary

Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
Cain uses a diary format to tell the fictional story (Dewey number notwithstanding) of 14-year-old Jenny, an ordinary teenager learning to live with--and, in some cases, without--her autistic 11-year-old brother, Ezra. Inspired by a teacher to write a term paper on her experiences, Jenny begins the journal, alternating day-to-day occurrences (trying out for the school play, etc.) with deeper reminiscences of Ezra's difficulties as a child struggling to communicate and empathize with others. Ez is totally without artifice and hilariously honest: "Your hair looks like road kill," he deadpans to a mail carrier. But Cain's focus is solidly on Jenny as she navigates her "happy, splintered family" and realizes that "I have SPECIAL NEEDS too!!!" Occasionally, Jenny's voice is oddly formal, but Cain does a splendid job juggling the different spheres of her life, lending this eight-month diary an understated, realistic feel. Four pages of tips for living with an autistic sibling conclude, driving home that this would be a fine, compassionate read for kids in Jenny's position. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January

Gr 5 Up--Teenager Jenny's younger sibling, Ezra, is like most brothers except for one thing, he's autistic. Often the victim of bullying, he sees life a little differently and tends to throw fits when upset. Although his dog, Willy, helps him to come out of his shell and be more social, Jenny finds herself feeling as if she constantly has to protect him. When she discovers that a girl in her grade is bullying him, she decides to write about her in an article in the school's newspaper. The principal, however, keeps dragging his feet on okaying her "exposť." Juggling her recent role in her school's play, trying to be there for her brother, and getting the principal to cave mean Jenny's hands are full. Can she find a balance between protecting her brother and living her own life? Cain does an even job of addressing difficult topics while still providing an enjoyable read. The story is told through Jenny's diary entries, giving readers insight into her life and personality. Secondary characters are a little underdeveloped, but are easy to sympathize with and like. Readers interested in realistic fiction, books about bullying, and character-driven stories will enjoy this steadily paced novel.--Kira Moody, Whitmore Library, Murray, UT

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