Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chicken Boy

Author: Gregory G. Allen
Illustrator: Dennis Culver
Grade Level: K-3

Buy it here!

Chicken boy is a book about a superhero with autism. The book describes behaviors that this superhero has, such as shouting ‘Bahcaah’ in public. Furthermore, the book provides the reader with small scenarios of what this superhero enjoys to do and dislikes to do. For example, Chicken boy dislikes hearing babies crying, but he enjoys being outside in the rain. The book projects an image of a normal young boy with a strong  sense of imagination. The book finishes with him at the park. It explains how Chicken Boy struggles to make friends, because it takes him a little longer to approach kids. Overall, the moral of the book is to build awareness about autism, also, to teach children to accept others even if they behave differently.

Element 5:
Chicken Boy is a book about a superhero that exists in a boy's mind. This boy has autism, the book portrays a different perspective into autism, because it has been written from the autistic child's perspective. The author of the book, Gregory Allen, has a godson who is autistic, hence, he thought he should raise awareness about autism. Gregory Allen believes there are too few books in the subject, especially ones that reflect the mind of an autistic child. As stated in Element 5, this book shows a different perspective from the one we always see. We all have seen someone with autism, it is easy for one to point out the differences from a far. Rarely do we have the opportunity to educate ourselves of the child’s perspective about autism. Chicken Boy has given the opportunity for one to be placed in his day to day life as a superhero. Honestly, Gregory Allen has done an excellent job to represent a different perspective, he has seen first-hand the lenses from an outsider looking in and the lenses from Gabe, his godson, viewing the world.  Chicken Boy is an excellent book to raise awareness about autism.

During autism week, I would bring this book into class to raise awareness about autism and the special week that lies ahead. I would inform the class on walks for autism and different fun activities that are occurring to raise awareness about autism that week. I would read this book to the class and explain to the class what autism is. There is a possibility that there will be autistic students within the school building, the students would be encouraged to play with them in the playground or to even write a card to them showing appreciation with hopes of building friendships. The activities would involve raising awareness to their families as well.

1 comment:

  1. Juliana - thanks again for covering my book here. It's taken two years, but the sequel is out in time for Autism Awareness Month. The new book deals with doctors, dentists and sensory overload. Available now from MeeGenius!