Can You See Me?
Can You See Me?
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: A coming-of-age story about learning to celebrate yourself -- and teaching the world to recognize you, too -- perfect fo... more
Catalog Number: #199818
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 362 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-338-60891-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-338-60891-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019033551
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Starting middle school is a daunting prospect for anyone, but for Tally, who is autistic, it is terrifying. Every day is a struggle for her as she navigates the social structure, tries to decipher idioms that make no sense to her literal mind, and endures overwhelming sensory input. Her best friend, Layla, the only other student who knows about Tally's autism, provides as much support as possible, but Tally's unconventional behavior puts a strain on the friendship. When other students see Tally as "weird" or "crazy," her fragile support system breaks down. A subplot concerning a three-legged dog her family has taken in for a neighbor underscores Tally's troubles. One of the outstanding features of this novel is that the third-person narrative is punctuated by Tally's first-person journal, where she discusses different aspects of autism, such as meltdowns, stimming, and masking, without disrupting the page-turning narrative. Scott, the middle-grade-aged coauthor, has autism herself, and her portrayal of Tally is thoughtful and authentic.
Publishers Weekly
An autistic preteen struggles to navigate the demands of an allistic world in this powerful collaboration between Scott, an autistic 11-year-old, and established author Westcott, who is neurotypical. Funny, self-aware Tally is about to start sixth grade, and that means an overwhelming new school with lots of new people. To fit in, she chooses to keep her autism a secret, avoiding her usual coping mechanisms in order to fit in. Bullying and abandonment by her best friend ensue, but just when she can-t take it anymore, people close to Tally-including her sister and a teacher-learn to offer understanding and support in myriad ways. This is a sweetly appealing story of finding oneself in a time of change, and it-s heartening to see an autistic protagonist who finds happiness through the growth of those around her and not via learning to hide herself. Occasional first-person diary entries narrate Tally-s experiences, offering -Autism Facts- about anxiety, demand avoidance, meltdowns, and stimming, among other topics. Alongside a compelling heroine, vividly accurate portrayals of stressful situations and specific needs offer a rare and valuable window into one autistic point of view. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8 Starting sixth grade can be a little scary for anyone. For Tally, hiding her autism while trying to adapt to a whole new set of middle school expectations is especially challenging. Adapting isn't really Tally's thing. Her new uniform itches, her shoes pinch, and the crowded, noisy hallways are impossible to navigate. It would be easier if she could be Tiger Girl, but she knows that disappearing behind her rubber tiger mask is something she can't do if she wants to fit in. She also pushes down stimming behaviors like flapping her hands because, while they help her cope, they also make her stand out. Her elementary school friends are all in different classes, making new friends and developing new interests, leaving Tally feeling abandoned. She pours out her frustrations in journal entries that are interspersed throughout the narrative. Each entry is broken down with a situation, Tally's anxiety rating, Tally's Autism Facts, and how they affected the situation. She sometimes offers the pros and cons of having a particular spectrum-associated behavior. The narrative and journal entries combine to give readers an authentic depiction of what it is like to walk in Tally's shoes. The ending offers hope that there is space for children like Tally to be themselves. Author notes are included from co-authors Westcott, a teacher and special needs coordinator, and Scott, a writer, blogger, and autistic student. VERDICT Give this to children on the spectrum and families, teachers, and classmates of children on the spectrum. In short, give to everyone, because a little understanding can go a long way.Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (2/1/20)
ALA Booklist (4/1/20)
School Library Journal (2/1/20)
Word Count: 72,279
Reading Level: 5.6
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.6 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 508502 / grade: Middle Grades
Tally lowers her face into her knees and waits until she hears the kitchen door closing. Then, as quietly as she can, she tiptoes upstairs and into her bedroom. The tiger mask is hanging from the end of her bed and she pulls it on, inhaling the familiar smell. And then she walks across the room and looks in the mirror, staring at the strong, powerful creature in front of her. At the brave, magnificent Tiger Girl who doesn't feel pain and doesn't get hurt and doesn't worry about what other people think of her. If only she could be this girl all of the time then nobody would ever say unkind things or give each other the look that everybody always gives when she's around. The look that means she's done something wrong again, even if she doesn't know what it is or how not to do it next time. She stares and stares at her reflection until the Tiger Girl goes blurry and then she walks downstairs and along the hallway until she reaches the door to the laundry room. Rupert is lying down behind the stair-gate. He looks different, and the muzzle that is fitted snugly over his face wasn't there this morning. "Don't be scared," Tally whispers. "Can you see me?" She used to ask this question all the time when she was younger. Every time she put on the mask. And she was never quite sure what she wanted the answer to be. Whether it was better to be hidden or to be seen. Whether it was better to be Tiger Girl or Tally. Rupert peers at her from above the muzzle and then slowly lumbers into a standing position, keeping his distance from the tiger that is filling the doorway. They stare at each other for a while, both hidden behind their masks.

Excerpted from Can You See Me? by Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A coming-of-age story about learning to celebrate yourself -- and teaching the world to recognize you, too -- perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio's Wonder!

"This glimpse into the world of a young autistic girl is astonishingly insightful and honest. Tally's struggles to 'fit in' are heart-wrenching, and her victories are glorious." -- Ann M. Martin, Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author of Rain ReignThings Tally is dreading about sixth grade:-- Being in classes without her best friends-- New (scratchy) uniforms-- Hiding her autismTally isn't ashamed of being autistic -- even if it complicates life sometimes, it's part of who she is. But this is her first year at Kingswood Academy, and her best friend, Layla, is the only one who knows. And while a lot of other people are uncomfortable around Tally, Layla has never been one of them . . . until now.Something is different about sixth grade, and Tally now feels like she has to act "normal." But as Tally hides her true self, she starts to wonder what "normal" means after all and whether fitting in is really what matters most.Inspired by young coauthor Libby Scott's own experiences with autism, this is an honest and moving middle-school story of friends, family, and finding one's place.

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