Marcelo in the Real World
Reading Level: Grades 7+
Marcelo, a high school junior with a somewhat undefined precise location on the autism spectrum, is wildly looking forward to spending his summer working with the ponies at his school, Paterson. He will be the stable man for the school, and in the fall will be promoted to training the ponies to work with all types of disabled students. Marcelo is really looking forward to his summer and senior year at Paterson.
But his father, Arturo, has other plans. Arturo wants Marcelo to work at Arthuro's law firm, in the mail room - and Arturo wants Marcelo to switch to public school in the fall.
Marcelo is not given much choice about working at the law firm, but he is told that if he spends three summer months working at his father's law firm - in the "real world" - Arturo will let him choose whether to return to Paterson or continue at public school.
For Marcelo, three months in the "real world" sounds incredibly difficult as he does not know all the rules of living in that world. But working at the law firm is what Marcelo will have to do to ensure his return to Paterson, and so he accepts his father's offer.
As Marcelo's summer progresses, he begins to become more comfortable interacting with others, but when he uncovers a disturbing photograph relating to one of his father's big cases, Marcelo is unsure how to proceed.
Other books about teens on the autism spectrum:
Mindblind by Jennifer Roy
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon