Saturday, February 21, 2015

"A Manual for Marco" by Shaila Abdullah

A Manual for Marco:
Living, Learning, and Laughing With an Autistic Sibling
by Shaila Abdullah

A Manual for Marco is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book tours. The tour stops here today for my review. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on My Friend Suhana.

Why does he act that way?
Pages from the diary of an eight-year old girl who decides to make a list of all the things she likes and dislikes about dealing with her autistic brother, and in doing so realizes that she has created A Manual for Marco.

Praise for the Book
"In a story inspired by a real-life family, Abdullah, who tackled cerebral palsy in My Friend Suhana, discusses life with an autistic sibling, as described by a girl named Sofia. Endnotes provide additional tips and information about interacting with those on the autism spectrum." ~ Publishers Weekly
"Through her genuine and caring accounts about growing up with an older, autistic brother, this 8-year-old also shows her love for her sibling who is special but sometimes does things that are not-so-special. I highly recommend this book written with sensitivity and beautifully illustrated." ~ Lorna d'Entremont, M.Ed., Special Needs Book Review
"Shaila Abdullah proves to be a great ambassador for autism, using explanations and warm, welcoming illustrations in A Manual for Marco that give a complex condition a simpler explanation." ~ C. Hope Clark, Author of The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries
"A Manual for Marco is a welcome addition to children's literature that will help in introducing the condition of autism to young people and providing information that will enable them to understand a little more about it so that it will not seem so scary." ~ Wayne Walker, Home School Book Reviews

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
A Manual for Marco is written from the point-of-view of an eight-year-old girl learning how to deal with her autistic brother Marco. She decides to make "a list of all the things that make Marco special and not-so-special" in her purple diary. When she is finished, she realizes she has created a manual for Marco.
The book is presented in a notebook format with highlighted characteristics followed by anecdotes to expand on these qualities, both good and bad. The book is illustrated by author Shaila Abdullah, with contributions by 12-year-old Iman Tehpar, Sophia Ali (the inspiration behind the book's narrator), and the author's daughters Aanyah and Aaliyana. At the end of the book, there is an introduction to the Ali family who are the inspiration for this story, as well as some tips for parents by Dr Salima Ali, and a list of helpful autism website resources.
This is a confronting, yet touching book about sibling love, suitable for the whole family. It is perfect for children who are having trouble coping with an autistic brother or sister.

About the Author
Shaila Abdullah is an author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She has written five books: Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, Rani in Search of a Rainbow, and A Manual for Marco. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award and Patras Bukhari Award for English Language. Several academic institutions have adopted her books as course study or recommended reading, including the University of California, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Indiana University, Boston University, California State University, and George Washington University. In her free time, Shaila loves to run around with her children, Aanyah and Aaliyana.