The Space We’re In

Holiday House//Margaret Ferguson Bks. Oct. 2019. 176p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823442898.
Gr 3-7–Frank has always resented his brother Max. Max is autistic, and he gets most of his parents’ attention; Frank often wakes up in the middle of the night to Max crying out, his family can never go out to eat since Max can’t handle it—the list goes on. But when his mom starts having seizures, Frank’s feelings ramp up. Frank believes that all the extra stress Max puts on his mom has made her sick. When tragedy strikes Frank’s family, he realizes that Max didn’t make his mom sick after all, and begins to truly appreciate his brother for who he is. Seamlessly told from Frank’s perspective, the story drags a bit in points. While this depiction of a boy with an autistic brother is evocative, some readers may be tired of another novel that views an autistic character through the perspective of a put-upon neurotypical sibling.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries with a strong interest in realistic fiction.

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