In My Brother Charlie, author Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete, tell the story of Callie and her twin brother Charlie, and their unique bond.
Charlie is a young boy who loves animals, the piano, and his sister. Callie, the narrator, descibes her life with her brother, and how they are similar and different. They both have curly hair and like to roll in the grass. But, Callie loves to talk while Charlie is very quiet. His brain works differently than his sister’s because he has autism.
This is a really good book for kids and adults to read. It was a very eye-opening book for me because I got clear insight on what it might be like to have an sibling with autism. Charlie isn’t much different from neurotypical kids. He just expresses his likes and dislikes differently. Because of that, he sometimes ruins playdates or sometimes refuses to look at people or talk to his sister, but she still knows he loves her.
I recommend this book to elementary-age kids. I think this is a good resource to open discussion about diversity in neurological disorders, and can help young kids learn how to understand those who are different from them, but include them.
The synopis of the book really stuck with me: “Charlie is like any other boy – and he has autism.” That’s exactly what I I took away from this book – that though Charlie had autism, autism did not define him. Also, I loved the illustrations by Shane W. Evans! They were really colorful. Three out of four roses!