Life Lessons With Little LeaLea

Children - Social Issues
63 Pages
Reviewed on 02/06/2019
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Author Biography

Different is the second book in the series, “Life Lessons with Little LeaLea.” Writing this book was a very personal undertaking. The two main characters, Sean and LeaLea, are cousins who also happen to be my grandchildren.
Although apprehensive at first, through a growing relationship with her cousin, Sean, who has autism, conveyed through several true and humorous events, LeaLea finds both the difficulty and delight in doing so.
My intention as an author was to encourage children to make a difference by taking the time to understand and accept others who seem different into their lives. I believe I met that objective. As I started to write, however, the grandmother in me began to experience the bitter-sweetness of it all. I soon understood my true mission in writing this book is as a tribute to my wonderfully different and unique grandson, Sean Michael Faust.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

LeaLea is traveling to Pennsylvania to her cousins' house for a birthday party with her parents and brother Leo. It is a long drive from New York and she feels as if it is the longest car ride of her life. Uncle Tim is her mother's brother and she loves playing with her cousins, Izzy and Riny. Joey, their oldest cousin, is a teenager and Sean is different from all of them. He cannot speak and does not play with other kids. Last time when they all met, LeaLea saw Sean give a head butt to their grandmother Mima and she is worried about getting a head butt from Sean. Their mother explains to them that Sean has a condition called 'autism' and they have to understand him.

Different: Life Lessons With Little LeaLea by Mary E. Laders tackles the topic of autism and though people with autism are definitely different, they are not dumb. Readers understand the strange behavior of those with autism through Sean. The book captures the beautiful moments LeaLea shared with Sean during her time with Uncle Tim and his family. The photographs make the moments and characters tangible and connect readers with the story. It is a good book for parents and all adults to help others understand autism, especially if there are autistic children in the family or if they are dealing with them otherwise. The book can be used for read aloud sessions in classrooms for tutors to help children understand autism and how different this behavior can be. Many children will be able to relate to Sean's condition as they might have a sibling or relative who is autistic. The author's approach to the topic makes it easy for readers to understand autism and autistic people better.