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Are You Seeing Me?
By author: Darren Groth
Selling Points: autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, mythical creatures, orphans, Seattle, Washington, British Columbia, parents, strong female lead, trip of a lifetime
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Aug/18/2015
Pages: 288
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.99
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Twins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.
   It's been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.
   For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies and earthquakes. For Justine, it's an opportunity to learn how to let go—of Perry, of her boyfriend, Marc—and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.
   But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble…
School Library Connection - January 1, 2016
"Heartwarming, humorous, and hopeful...Groth has created a moving and authentic novel about finding one's place in the world, as well as a realistic portrait of a very likable autistic teen. The complex characters and multi-layered situations will engage both reluctant and sophisticated readers who will be rooting for all."
Booklist Online - August 31, 2015
"[An] engrossing novel...The author’s firsthand experience with ASD (he’s a former teacher and a father) makes this a fantastic look into the lives of those touched by these disorders."
The Globe and Mail - August 28, 2015
"Their adventures are distinctly Rain Man-esque as quiet humour bubbles up naturally from the honesty and poignancy of their relationship...A sensitive import executed with compassion, care and wit."
Cleaver Magazine - August 25, 2015
"Groth’s vibrant descriptions of setting shine...Even the highway pit stops and hotel stays are painted with vivid, film-like details...Though it’s classified as a young adult book, Are You Seeing Me? will appeal to readers of all ages because of its depth of story. Groth deftly and sensitively addresses the issues of living with autism, but the book’s focus and strength is in the complex but touching relationship between siblings."
Roberta's Literary Ramblings blog - August 10, 2015
"This book made me smile, cry, and sometimes both at the same time...The most impressive thing about this book was how skillfully Groth wrote in Perry’s point of view...He’s brought a very important narrative to the forefront. One that paints mental disability not as a handicap that a family must endure, but rather a further reason to love and adore those with these disabilities. As something that actually brings them closer as a family rather than pulling them apart. It’s amazing to finally read a narrative with this message."
Canucks Autism Network - July 21, 2015
Are you Seeing Me? is a beautifully-written and engaging coming-of-age novel.
Quill & Quire - July 1, 2015
"Touches on universal themes of love and loss; it is also very timely...Groth shows us, through the twins' often humorous adventures and misadventures, the challenges faced by autistic adults and their loved ones, as well as their extraordinary resilience and coping skills...A fun, interesting read...[that will] appeal to readers who enjoy stories about relationships, road trips, and what makes a family work."
Kirkus Reviews - June 1, 2015
"The story unfolds with intimacy and affection, shown through the twins' special nicknames for each other and each sibling's desire to do right by the other."
Resource Links - June 1, 2015
"The novel is very well written with multiple points of view and realistic characters experiencing complex personal relationships. Readers will be able to relate to their family problems and will also come to understand some of the challenges faced by young adults living with autism."
Publishers Weekly - May 11, 2015
"An insightful and rewarding road-trip story about 19-year-old Australian twins Perry and Justine...Told from the alternating perspectives of both twins, along with excerpts from their father’s journal, Groth’s story is uncommonly sensitive, his characters’ emotional journeys as critical as their physical ones."
CM Magazine - April 24, 2015
"Groth has provided a praiseworthy addition to the currently available titles dealing with ASD as well as a strong young adult read that will hold its own among other intelligent titles for this age group. Highly Recommended."

Awards

Governor General's Literary Award - Children's Text nominee, short-listed  CA  2015
White Ravens List selection, commended  US  2015
Prime Minister's Literary Award nominee, short-listed  AU  2015
Sheila Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Finalist, short-listed  CA  2016
CCBC Choices selection, commended  CA  2016



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