This book has a similar richness as My life as an alphabet but is for a more mature teen audience (language, sex references). Marcelo (pronounced Marselo) has autism- like condition that is somewhat similar to Asperger’s syndrome (Marcelo’s own explanation). He has been sheltered throughout his 17 years through attending a special school (Paterson) where he enjoys working the horses and the predictability of his days. His father, who seems to have been reluctant to understand Marcelo (and his internal music and obsession with religion), decides that the summer holidays is the best time for Marcelo to go into the real world and work at his legal firm. Marcelo reluctantly goes and is not only challenged by the circumstances but finds himself questioning his understanding about good and evil. Marcelo is not depicted as a victim or a figure of sympathy rather he is the reluctant hero and moral compass for the other characters. In the novel, there is a reference to Forest Gump and there are some similarities between the two, but Marcelo has been educated in social nuances and this real world experience gives him the chance to practice what he has learnt. Looking at other reviews, some have claimed that it is stereotypical and doesn’t adequately address/understand autism. However, with a teen audience in mind, I found Marcelo an inspiring read.
Comments are closed.