>This year, the Young Adult National Book Award was gifted to Mockingbird, a 2010 novel about a girl with Asperger Syndrome.
I was really surprised to read this. Truthfully, I had only heard the news because I was so pleased about Patti Smith’s book, Just Kids, winning the primary prize, and read the whole story looking for new reading material.
I haven’t read the book, but with so much about autism in fiction being pushed into mainstream culture, I can’t help but say how pleased I am. When I was a teenager, there were almost no books with characters, let alone protagonists, that were girls with Asperger Syndrome. If there were books about autism, the ones I read never displayed a girl with autism, it was almost always a boy.
Not much more I can say about that, except that variety is beautiful, and the more books with autistic protagonists we have, the more options we will have, and the more autistic people who read fiction will find themselves represented.
So, a brief salute to The Millennium Trilogy, Mass Effect: Ascension, and now, Mockingbird. May you touch the lives of your readers with autism.