Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marcelo in the Real World --by Francisco X. Stork

Fiction, Young Adult
312 pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: None
Illustrations: None
Suitable for eReaders: Yes

This prize winning book is one Rainy Day would not have picked up without prodding, more's the shame. Rainy Day tends not to read a lot of YA novels, because she writes YA novels, and while many who write them, read them, Rainy Day is one who normally avoids fiction in her genre, as many authors do.

However, Rainy Day signed up for a class in March, and one of the homework assignments was to read Marcelo in the Real World, and Rainy Day is very glad she did at least that much of her homework (the rest of the homework will come).

The story takes place between Marcelo's Junior and Senior years in high school. He is a high functioning Asperger's, and has spent his school years in a protected school, and now his father, a partner in a law firm, wants Marcelo to come into the real world. Marcelo must deal with giving up his coveted summer job at Patterson School where he would work with the horses and go to work in his father's law firm, working in the mailroom. His father promises that if he does well, he may return to Patterson for his senior year, otherwise, he must attend the local public high school.

Rainy Day knows a little about high functioning Asperger's – very little. She has known a few such people in her life, and she opened this book with some trepidation. So many of the YA novels Rainy Day has read in the past have such downer endings (another reason she doesn't read them), she really did not want to invest time, or emotion, in Marcelo only to have it end as a downer. Rainy Day was pleasantly surprised when she finished the book. Very pleasantly surprised.

This is an engrossing story of a young man coming of age in the real world. In an unsentimental way, Marcelo learns about jealousy, competition, anger, and honor. Rainy Day enjoyed this book tremendously, and recommends it to anyone, young or not, who wants to read a good story, and just might learn a bit about how people who are different, not less, think and act.

Bravo and Kudo's to Francisco X. Stork.

For information on high functioning autism, click here to read about Dr. Temple Grandin

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