Sunday, June 25, 2017

Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth

Published by Orca Book Publishers
Published in 2014

A year after their dad's death, twins Justine and Perry travel from Australia to Canada.


This mystery hooks me. I read on...

Are You Seeing Me? is told from two points of view
Perry--high-functioning autistic--and his sole caretaker his sister Justine.  These POVs are augmented by excerpts from their dad's journal. The journal documents the twin's life and was a gift to Justine on her 18th birthday. 

Are You Seeing Me? underlines one of the major problems the world has with people with invisible disabilities--we 'look like everyone else, act like no one you've ever seen'. (p. 11)

And so Justine explains....
'Before people get confused or angry or frustrated or gooey or freaked out, I give them the standard spiel:  Perry has a brain condition that can cause him to feel anxious or upset in different places and circumstances. He has trouble with people--mixing with them and communicating with them--and it sometimes results in inappropriate behaviors. I appreciate your understanding and patience.' (p. 12)
This passage made me pause--I wondered how I'd explain my invisible disability to a stranger. What would I say, what do I say?
(Now there's a blog topic)

Other issues that this novel explores...
-It's not just we, the disabled--everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
-Autism isn't Perry's strength or weakness--it's simply part of who he is.
Justine:  ' "He's just like the rest of us--amazing in his own right, and no better or worse than anyone else." ' (p. 205)
-It's difficult to raise a child with a disability

Favourite quote...
'People treat disabled adults a lot different than kids.' (p. 198)


An article about Are You Seeing Me? by the author Darren Groth

Quill and Quire's review

Happy 150 Canada

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Published on Saturday, July 1st Canada Day
At approximately 5 PM PT