Some of the fiction below is ‘officially’ autism/asperger/ADHD related; whereas other books are simply ones I personally feel belong here.
The non-fiction is anything but a complete list. It’s only what I myself own or have read.
Blue Balliett, Chasing Vermeer
Bateman, Mystery Man
Tim Bowler, Dragon’s Rock
Gennifer Choldenko, Al Capone Does My Shirts
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Framed
Jacques Couvillon, Chicken Dance
Sarah Dessen, Lock & Key
Siobhan Dowd, The London Eye Mystery
Ruth Eastham, The Messenger Bird
Lesley Ely and Polly Dunbar, Looking After Louis
Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird
Michael Grant, Gone
John Grisham, Theodore Boone
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Kathy Hoopmann, Blue Bottle Mystery, An Asperger Adventure
Simmone Howell, Girl Defective
Jacqueline Houtman, The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
Linni Ingemundsen, The Unpredictability of Being Human
Jenny Jägerfeld, Här ligger jag och blöder
Julia Jarman, Hangman
Kochka, The Boy Who Ate Stars
Stieg Larsson, The Millennium Trilogy: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
Caroline Lawrence, The Charioteer of Delphi
The Case of the Deadly Desperados
The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse
Gill Lewis, Scarlet Ibis
Cynthia Lord, Rules
Rachael Lucas, The State of Grace
Geraldine McCaughrean, The White Darkness
Ashley Edwards Miller and Zack Stentz, Colin Fischer
Elizabeth Moon, Speed of Dark
Siobhan Parkinson, Blue Like Friday
Jodi Picoult, House Rules
Frank Portman, King Dork
Celia Rees, Truth or Dare
Rick Riordan, The Percy Jackson series
Anne Rooney, Vampire Dawn
Catherine Simpson, Truestory
Rebecca Stead, When You Reach Me
John Townsend, Never Odd Or Even
Delphine de Vigan, No and Me
Barbara Vine, The Minotaur
Maxine C. Aston, The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome
Tony Attwood, Asperger’s Syndrome; A Guide for Parents and Professionals
Abigail Balfe, A Different Sort of Normal
Olga Bogdashina, Theory of Mind and the Triad of Perspectives on Autism
Asperger Syndrome; A View From the Bridge
Jennifer Cook O’Toole, The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules
T O Daria, Dasha’s Journal
Echo Fling, Eating an Artichoke
Gunilla Gerland, A Real Person; Life on the outside
Christopher Gillberg, A Guide to Asperger Syndrome
Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation
Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith, The Great Big Book of Feelings
Kathy Hoopmann, All Dogs Have ADHD
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
Jacqui Jackson, Multicoloured Mayhem
Luke Jackson, Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome; A User Guide to Adolescence
Monika Scheele Knight, Tomorrow Can Wait: Exploring Europe With Our Autistic Son
Charlotte Moore, George and Sam: Autism in the family
Clare Sainsbury, Martian in the Playground
Rudy Simone, Aspergirls
Liane Holliday Willey, Pretending to be Normal
Asperger Syndrome in the Family; Redefining Normal
Good list, but you haven’t got the wonderful picture book, Looking After Louis by Lesley Ely and Polly Dunbar.
And please have a read of my own Hangman, though you may find it painful. You’ll see that Danny, the boy who gets bullied, is an Aspie boy.
though I don’t say
love your book list! i really want to read the book called, “pretending to be normal”. Sounds very relatable for every person who feels like an outcast. 🙂
Do find time to read Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark.
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Two titles for your list:
Stieg Larsson´s Lisbeth Salander is by some regarded as an Asperger.
In Martin Edwards´ “The Coffin Trail” an Asperger is suspected of murder.
I needed the reminder. I keep saying something is right for the Aspie list and then I don’t actually put it there.
I’ll leave the Martin Edwards here in the comments for the time being. I’m still working out whether the list should be purely mine, or if everyone can pitch in.
The main thing is that anyone who searches for ideas can get them from this page.
Thanks for including my book, Pretending to be Normal, in your list. I appreciate your thinking it worth a look! Liane
It’s a great book, Liane. I can’t begin to tell you how useful I found it. Without knowing you or your family, you often pop into my head, when things happen.
Just to continue the thread here, I’ll link to ab’s comment on another post, regarding Lisbeth Salander being an aspie.
I have felt from the beginning that Lisbeth has Asperger’s, but there are always people who have doubts. So good to see that Stieg said she does.
Dear Bookwitch, I just want to tell you that I have been reading your blog for several months now and got several fantastic reading recommendations from your articles. I especially appreciate your list of “Aspie books” which I collect from personal interest and I have one suggestion for this list – Marcello in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork. It is a YA/adult crossover, I got it for Christmas and read it overnight (in my country the gifts are opened on the Christmas Eve, hence the overnight reading) and it is very, very good.
That sounds promising. If you can’t put a book down, it’s not boring.
We at Bookwitch Towers, open the presents on Christmas Eve, too, but I still haven’t had time to read much in the last 24 hours.
I just watched the film “Adam” on DVD, about a young man with Aspergers and his “normal” girlfriend and how they learned to communicate – and in it was “Pretending to be Normal”, which the girlfriend gave him.
I need to see that one!
There’s an interesting Aspie character in Camilla Läckberg’s new one in English, The Stonecutter.
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Another fabulous book for your list is The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon.
Yes, I suppose I should add it here. I have it but have not read it yet. Someone else recommended it to me, but it keeps getting pushed to the side.
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Just discovered your blog – hence the late comment on an early post. Thanks for the list and I’ll be looking out for some of the ones which I haven’t read. The central character in my own novel Bunderlin may be an aspie – but I don’t really know cos I didn’t actually set out to portray him as one. It’s just the way he turned out and folk have sometimes asked me, is he an Aspergers guy?
I loved getting into his head and living in there while I was doing the writing.
Here’s another to add.
600 Hours of Edward
There is a fiction book called “Wild Orchid”. It’s about a girl with aspergers and is written for teens. It is really good.
I’ve never heard it said anywhere else. Did you coin the word ‘aspie’?
No. But it certainly beats having to write ‘person with Asperger Syndrome’ repeatedly. First found it in a book written by one, about herself and her aspie family. Have then seen it in lots of places, and usually it’s aspies themselves who use the word. I think it’s mainly neurotypicals (NT) who find it vaguely insulting and many have said they hate the word. But try and write about the people and the books and the ‘problem’ in general, while sticking to the full term and see how you like it! It also avoids using the word ‘suffering’ in connection with AS, which is good as suffering is the wrong description. It’s like saying you’re suffering from black hair.
This sounds like a good addition to your aspie list – noted on Jenny Davidson’s blog “Light Reading.” The book is The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy by Priscilla Gilman – haven’t read it yet but am going to look for it. Here’s what Davidson says:
Like Oliver Sacks, Priscilla manages to write about a life of deficits and losses in a way that shows, without minimizing the associated difficulties and costs, the magical forms of recompense that come along with them; she also manages to pull off something that often makes me cringe, the attempt to articulate (as opposed to taking as given, which is what I do) that literature is meaningful in some large part because of what it tells us about life. “As someone who has lived to learn,” Priscilla writes of herself (she is a Yale graduate and taught at Yale and at Vassar before becoming a literary agent), she found in her son Benj, who has never been diagnosed with a specific label but who has battled a wide range of motor and social deficits that leave him perhaps best described as ‘borderline Asperger’s,’ her “greatest and most meaningful coursework”: and the book is an emotionally authentic and intellectually illuminating account of what she learned as Benj’s mother and how it changed her. http://jennydavidson.blogspot.com/2011/05/abundant-recompense.html
P.S. Have you read Jenny Davidson’s YA novels? The Explosionist and the sequel Invisible Things – very good!
And by sheer coincidence I’ve just spent the weekend with someone who lavished praise on Jenny. I will have to investigate.
Thanks for a wonderful list!
Here is another aspie fiction book: “Selected Works of T.S. Spivet” written by Reif Larsen.
There´s no mention of Aspergers in the book but T.S. Spivet is a clear case. This is a really strange, lovely book, with amazing illustrations.
Do you have any tips about aspie children books in Swedish? (For a 7 year old aspie boy)
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I’m just wondering if you’ve read The Language of Others by Clare Morrall? http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Language-Others-Clare-Morrall/dp/0340896671/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341898415&sr=8-1
I haven’t. Thank you for the suggestion, Carol.
Here’s one I just finished, which I loved. (It’s set in Kenya, where I lived for three years.) Excellent writing. Please check it out.
I will. Thank you!
Hi, Bookwitch. You could also check out the brand-new book “Grandparenting a Child With Autism” by Sylvia Grubb.
Not at all sure why you’ve included Mystery Man by Colin Bateman, but there’s now a sequel to that book, called The Day of the Jack Russell.
I’m not sure why I didn’t respond earlier…
In reply to your question, I feel Mystery Man is a closet aspie. By that I mean, he doesn’t know this himself. Nor does Colin, I imagine. I’ve read the Jack Russell, but not the most recent one.
Thank you so much for putting together this list. My son has recently been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and there are some brilliant suggestions on here.
Hopefully some of these books will be useful, and some might send you off to other books that will also be good.
Have you ever considered Sebastian Faulks for your list ? Some of his characters?
I have not read any of his. Is there enough that an aspie reading them would feel at home with the characters?
Oh I see. I apologise for misunderstanding. Your comment ‘or those that should be on it’ made me suggest him. It was only a flippant suggestion. I have always felt his main characters unusual. Just for interest then, read ‘Birdsong’ one day.
Hannah Whateley – PETA LYRE’S RATING NORMAL
DON’T HUG ME by another Ozlit author
Both are young adult books about Autistic women and both are #ownvoices .
The classic I read at 15 – long before my diagnosis at 50 (!!!) – was Victor Hugo’s ‘Notre Dame de Paris’. Despite his destructive/self-destructive downward spiral in the book, I bonded instantly and intensely with the young intellectual and priest, Claude. Re-reading after diagnosis, I recognise now: in 1831, Victor Hugo wrote an autistic tragic hero/anti-hero. Claude is so utterly Aspie: his passionate scholarship, his info-dumping, his fatal ineptitude with relationships, his ability as a teacher… all complicated by the fact he’s a 15C priest. I suspect, too, from what I’ve read about Hugo and his family, that he and some of his relatives were themselves on the spectrum.
Alan Garner also writes Aspie characters (in ‘Red Shift’ and ‘Boneland’ especially). Again, I suspect some of it is drawn from himself: I know he has had depression in the past, and I wonder if that has been a consequence, as it is for many of us, of living with autism in a neurotypical world?
This is interesting! I’ve not read the Hugo, but I’m sure you’re right.
Also, not an expert on Garner, but considering how he ‘keeps himself to himself’ as people say, it would fit in.