Adam’s Alternative Sport’s Day – Jude Welton
I have already reviewed the book by Welton in which we were introduced to Adam, Can I tell you about Asperger’s Syndrome?, and this book gives us a fictional story about Adam and how he learns to deal with school life, bullying, and his own feelings of disappointment and jealousy.
Adam hates sports – and in particular he hates sports day. So he is happy to find out that this year there will be no standard sports day, and instead there will be an alternative sports day that includes activities like solving hieroglyphics, solving riddles, and maths puzzles.
Throughout the competition Adam has to deal with bullying from another student, how to deal with his own anger and disappointment when he does not perform as well as he feels he should in tasks, and what to do when his jealousy upsets his best friend and how to resolve it. The book includes writing about sensory problems and self-regulation methods that autistic children and young adolescents will be able to relate to, and discussions about how the things that other people do can be incredibly confusing.
Mum could see the duvet move slightly and reached over to where she thought Adam’s head was, in an attempt to find his hair and stroke it.
She withdrew her hand.
“No you’re not, Adam. You’re a kind boy.”
“I was horrible to Josie.”
“That doesn’t mean you’re horrible. It just means you made a mistake and did something horrible. We all do things we wish we hadn’t.” She paused. No response. “It doesn’t mean we’re horrible people. Not if we’re sorry for what we’ve done. It’s not the end of the world.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it’s not as bad as you might think it is. Things can be made better again.”
Throughout the book we also see examples of Adam’s friends, parents, and teachers supporting him in positive ways, and helping him to overcome or helping him to learn how to overcome problems. The book has two endings to allow for the reader to see different developments of Adam’s character and his interactions with his friends, and this is a nice touch.
Is it worth reading?
For children and teenagers, yes, it is good to see a book with an autistic main character. For teachers, it might be worth including this book in your classroom for all your students to read.