Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s hard for her to make friends. So whenever her world doesn’t make sense—which is often—she relies on Mr. Internet for answers. But there are some questions he can’t answer, like why she always gets into trouble, and how do kids with Asperger’s syndrome make friends? Kiara has a difficult time with other kids. They taunt her and she fights back. Now she’s been kicked out of school. She wishes she could be like her hero Rogue—a misunderstood X-Men mutant who used to hurt anyone she touched until she learned how to control her special power. When Chad moves in across the street, Kiara hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. When she learns his secret, she’s so determined to keep Chad as a friend that she agrees not to tell. But being a true friend is more complicated than Mr. Internet could ever explain, and it might be just the thing that leads Kiara to find her own special power.
Having a personal connection to someone with Asperger’s and knowing that the author was diagnosed with the same thing really felt like something I could really connect with. I think there are so few books like this out there and that’s another thing about this that drew me in. The storyline isn’t anything unusual, however Kiara and her Asperger’s changes the entire story and brings it to a whole new dimension. And while reading this book I was really impressed with the diversity of all the characters involved. I don’t like revealing too much when I review books, but seeing as some of this content would not be suitable for a younger audience I wanted to mention it. Chad’s secret is that his parents are operating a meth lab in their home and are using Chad and his younger brother Brandon as a lookout as well as they help procure the needed ingredients. Kiara is smart enough to know this is a bad thing but her desperation for a friendship overshadows her moral compass. Something else that I found interesting about Kiara is how she always has a video camera nearby, because of this she ends up befriending some locals and a bike park where she films their stunts, then adds music and posts them to Youtube. In fact, her super power emerges through this. I wouldn’t want anyone to avoid reading this book because of the content as this was just a small part of a book that is way more than Chad’s secret. This is a heartwarming story about friendship, diversity and acceptance that will capture the hearts of many readers. Now, go check it out! 🙂
5 out 5 stars. Great read for grades 5 and up.