Billy and the Sparkling Socks by Julie Day

Cover of Billy and the Sparkling Socks

An easy way to get an inkling of what it’s like to be a child with Aspergers

I bought this book because I was interested in finding out more about Asperger’s Syndrome in a simple and accessible way. It’s a quick read for an adult, and an appealing read for a child, being set largely at school and at the home of Billy, a young Aspie boy who struggles to find success at school and in his social life, especially compared with his non-Aspie brother.

With a sprinkling of magic in the form of empowering socks that boost his confidence and determination to find and excel in one thing, young Billy conquers his anxieties and finds acceptance at school as a storyteller.

This is a sweet, upbeat story, sensitively told, and explaining effectively how Billy finds it hard to respond to normal social signals, having a code with his mum and his teacher to draw smiley faces, for example, to indicate mood. I imagine that Aspies would find it an encouraging and comforting read, making them feel they’re not alone. It will also make non-Aspie adults and children think more carefully before judging Aspies, and help them better understand their viewpoint.

The cheerful, upbeat cover and the friendly line drawings that scatter the text, provided by illustrator Rachel Lawston, boost the book’s upbeat feel and will also give it the same sort of child appeal as Daisy Meadows’ fairy books – and what more positive emblem could there be than a rainbow?

In short, it’s an easy way to learn about Aspergers for non-Aspies, and an encouraging read for those who are on the spectrum. I gather this is the start of a series, and I hope it helps spread helpful messages about this challenging condition.

To find out more about the author and her work, check out her blog: www.julieaday.blogspot.co.uk

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