Happy Tuesday! I did not stick to the theme at all this week! At first I was struggling with what to do, but then I remembered that April is Autism Acceptance Month. I’ve done a list before of Middle Grade Neurodivergent Books, but today’s list is 100% YA Autism Books! Some of these are books that I have read (and will fight you on if you say that the character is not autistic), and some of them are books that other people (readers, authors, and in one case an actor) have noted contain autistic characters.
And now without any further ado, here’s this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!
The Game by Linsey Miller
Published by Underlined on August 4, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Thriller, Neurodivergent
A game turns deadly with a killer who picks his victims one by one, letter by letter.
Every year the senior class at Lincoln High plays assassin. Lia Prince has been planning her strategy for years and she's psyched that not only does she finally get to play, she's on a team with Devon Diaz. But this year, the game isn't any fun--it's real. Abby Ascher, Ben Barnard, and Cassidy Clarke have all turned up . . . dead. Can Lia stop the ABC killer before he reaches D?
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Series: Truly Devious #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 16, 2018
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Neurodivergent
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
Prom Theory by Ann LaBar
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 30, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Neurodivergent
In this heartwarming and whip-smart YA spin on The Rosie Project, a teen girl is determined to prove that love, like all things, should be scientifically quantified…right?
Iris Oxtabee has managed to navigate the tricky world of unspoken social interactions by reading everything from neuroscience journals to Wikipedia articles. Science has helped her fit the puzzle pieces into an understandable whole, and she’s sure there’s nothing it can’t explain. Love, for example, is just chemistry.
Her best friend Seth, however, believes love is one of life’s beautiful and chaotic mysteries, without need for explanation. Iris isn’t one to back down from a challenge; she’s determined to prove love is really nothing more than hormones and external stimuli. After all, science has allowed humanity to understand more complex mysteries than that, and Iris excels at science.
The perfect way to test her theory? Get the popular and newly-single Theo Grant, who doesn’t even know Iris exists, to ask her to prom. With prom just two weeks away, Iris doesn’t have any time to waste, so she turns her keen empirical talents and laser-focus attention to testing her theory.
But will proving herself correct cause her friendship with Seth—and the tantalizing possibility for something more—to become the failed experiment?
The Secret Life of Kitty Granger by G.D. Falksen
Published by Carolrhoda Lab (R) on March 2, 2021
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Thriller, Neurodivergent
It's 1967, and Kitty Granger is about to accidentally become a spy. A working-class girl from London's East End who today would be recognized as autistic, she's spent sixteen years hiding her peculiarities from the world. But after her hyper-awareness helps her survive a chance encounter with a Russian spy ring, two British secret agents offer her a job.
Kitty's first mission draws her into a fascist conspiracy led by a prominent politician--who's also an unreformed Nazi sympathizer. With help from her team, Kitty must use her wits, training, and instincts to get out alive. And she might as well save the country while she's at it.
Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.
When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie’s world and well beyond the confines of her camera—from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter’s bar, and much more. Lizzie’s private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation, her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future—and whom she wants to share it with.
Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before.
Speak for Yourself by Lana Wood Johnson
Published by Scholastic Press on June 1, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Retellings, LGBTQIA+, Aspec, Neurodivergent
Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy.Girl gets friend to help win boy.Friend ends up with crush on boy...
Skylar's got ambitious #goals. And if she wants them to come true, she has to get to work now. (At least she thinks so...) Step one in her epic plan is showing everyone that her latest app is brilliant. To do that, she's going to use it win State at the Scholastic Exposition, the nerdiest academic competition around.
First, she'll need a team, and Skylar's not always so good with people. But she'll do whatever it takes to put one together ... even if it means playing Cupid for her teammates Joey and Zane, at Joey's request. When things get off to an awkward start for them, Skylar finds herself stepping in to help Joey. Anything to keep her on the team. Only, Skylar seems to be making everything more complicated. Especially when she realizes she might be falling for Zane, which was not a #goal. Can Skylar figure out her feelings, prove her app's potential to the world, and win State without losing her friends--or is her path to greatness over before it begins?
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
Published by Amulet Books on March 8, 2016
Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Neurodivergent
January 29, 2035.
That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.
Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?
When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on April 6, 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Neurodivergent
Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.
Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more.
Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Published by Greenwillow Books on May 19, 2015
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Neurodivergent
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.
Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.
Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.
Please Don't Hug Me by Kay Kerr
Published by Text Publishing on April 28, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Neurodivergent
A funny-serious own-voices story about what happens when you stop trying to be the person other people expect you to be and give yourself a go.
Erin is looking forward to Schoolies, at least she thinks she is. But things are not going to plan. Life is getting messy, and for Erin, who is autistic, that’s a big problem. She’s lost her job at Surf Zone after an incident that clearly was not her fault. Her driving test went badly even though she followed the instructions perfectly. Her boyfriend is not turning out to be the romantic type. And she’s missing her brother, Rudy, who left almost a year ago.
But now that she’s writing letters to him, some things are beginning to make just a tiny bit of sense.
How are you celebrating Autism Acceptance Month? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous week!