April, is, as you may have heard, Autism Awareness Month!
(Better yet, Autism ACCEPTANCE Month)
Now, the idea in itself should be boosted as autism deserves awareness–and more than that, all-around ACCEPTANCE but I did want to mention to not support the organization behind this, Autism Speaks as it is INCREDIBLY harmful and does NOT actually speak for autistic people. This organization actually does the opposite of supporting autism, and uses its funding to look for a “cure” for autism, among spreading other problematic messages. For more details, there are a ton of articles online and you can check out this one as well!
I have read shamefully very few books with autistic characters! So to change that, I’ve compiled a list of books with autism rep for both me and anyone else out there who may have been looking for some to read!
I tried to focus on books that are either #ownvoices for the autism rep, or if they aren’t, have positive reviews from #ownvoices readers (aside from the ones I’ve already read). There are already too many harmful messages being perpetuated about autism and I really don’t want to boost books that contribute to that!
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde: This is SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. I will scream about it to everyone, it is so incredibly diverse and fun and adorable aksakjkajk. One of the main POVs, Taylor, is autistic and has anxiety! It is also ownvoices for the autism rep, anxiety rep, and bi rep!! AMAZING ❤
Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik: #ownvoices review // I really enjoyed this one! This isn’t ownvoices though. The author does have an autistic child I believe and it’s clear she put a lot of effort into writing good rep!
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: One of the narrators and main characters, Zofia has many signs of ASD, but I believe due to the time setting where they wouldn’t necessarily have a label for ASD, it isn’t explicitly stated. I love her! (Not ownvoices) (*I’m still reading this book, but shh.)
The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare: Not #ownvoices, but one of the key characters, Ty Blackthorn, is autistic and I’ve heard from many autistic readers that it was very positive representation! I adore Ty so much, and this series is also sooooooo good.
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum: PLEASE READ THIS #ownvoices review // This is listed here solely because I’ve read this book; I don’t actually recommend it whatsoever for autistic rep, as there are several problematic scenes and messages!
The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: This is #ownvoices & the main character’s older brother is autistic!! This releases tomorrow, April 4th and I AM SO EXCITED! I haven’t found any #ownvoices reviews for this one since it’s… you know, not released yet but I trust the rep in this one! 💕
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis: #ownvoices autistic main character (who is also biracial; part-Dutch, part-Surinamese Black), plus “a prominent bisexual trans Black girl, as well as lesbian, Muslim, and Jewish characters” (from the author) AHHH this sounds absolutely amazing!!
The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // This is on the younger side of YA in terms of the main character’s age but I’ve heard lovely things about this one! Plus, it’s ownvoices rep! 🙂
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed: I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK ASKLSKLSK –> ft. Grace, a fat narrator, Rosina a Latinx queer narrator, and Erin with Asperger’s (now known as autism spectrum disorder) and anxiety!! Plus FEMINISM, and discussion (+TW) about rape, sexual assault . I KNOW I WILL LOVE THIS.
This is not ownvoices for the autism rep!! I do highly recommend reading this author’s interview to know more about her inspiration behind this book. **If you know of any #ownvoices reviews for this book, please let me know!! I have not found any!!**
When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // Not #ownvoices autism rep, but I’ve heard such good things about this one! This falls in the more upper YA end, too which is nice!
Also: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is also said to have #ownvoices autism rep! However, this isn’t YA; it’s an Adult contemporary romance so please don’t be misled on my account! 🙈 I know this list is covering YA books, but I had to include this as this is #ownvoices!! And I NEED to read it omg.
So I have a lot of reading to do!! SO much of my diverse reading has been occupied by books ft. POC, or LGBTQ+ rep which is great, but as an advocate for diverse books, I want to advocate for ALL diverse books, and that includes disabled characters!
I really did want to show a variety of opinions from #ownvoices readers, and I tried my best here but it was so incredibly difficult to find ownvoices reviews, so PLEASE:
If there are any ownvoices reviews you know of and want to boost, or if you’re an #ownvoices reader yourself, PLEASE don’t hesitate to send me a link to your review if you have one because I really do want to showcase ownvoices reviewers!