Slug Days by Sara Leach, illustrated by Rebecca Bender

   Slug Days by Sara Leach, illustrated by Rebecca Bender, Pajama Press, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77278-022-2

Format:  hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review)   5 (starred review)

Genre: early chapter book

What did you like about the book? Lauren is an endearing narrator, and readers should find it easy to identify with her.  She has autism spectrum disorder and is able to clearly express how she sees the world, and how it sometimes frustrates her and gets her into trouble.  Readers should also be able to empathize with the people in Lauren’s life, both those who love and understand her, and those who do not know how to respond to her outbursts and missed social cues. The adults are portrayed realistically, as even Lauren’s supportive parents sometimes find their patience tested. Lauren is perceptive enough to realize this, even as she struggles to rely on her own coping skills to get through emotional difficulties. This book would be a wonderful discussion starter, and would be helpful both for children who are on the autism spectrum as well as for their classmates and friends. The winsome illustrations on nearly every page should further endear Lauren to readers, and also encourage early chapter book readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about this book. The author managed to convey Lauren’s difficulties without making her unlikable.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? Recommend to early chapter book readers, as well as to teachers or parents seeking to help children build empathy for others.  Also recommend Armond Goes to a Party: A Book About Asperger’s and Friendship by Nancy Carlson and Armond Isaak. Older readers may appreciate Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine.

Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries should purchase this book.

Where would you shelve it ?  Early chapter books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: October 25, 2017

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