Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Slug Days

Slug Days

Sara Leach
Illustrator:  Rebecca Bender 
Fiction
For ages 7 to 9
Pajama Press, 2017   ISBN: 978-1772780222

On Monday Lauren climbs on the bus and she knows at once that it is going to be a “slug day.” Her usual bus driver, Mike, is not there. The new driver does not know the secret handshake that Lauren and Mike share, nor has he reserved the front seat for her. Lauren tries to squish into the front seat with Sachi and Dan, but this does not work out so well and the driver tells Lauren to find a new seat. Sitting by herself, Lauren tries to calm herself down by squeezing the ball that she carries around with her.

Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder, which means that she has a hard time reading people, and when things do not go according to plan she will often lose her temper.

When she gets to school, Lauren does not go to her classroom. She is feeling so out of sorts that she hides under a tree. Unfortunately, the duty teacher finds her and escorts Lauren to room 163 where Mrs. Patel is waiting for her.

An already crummy day becomes even crummier when Lauren misses most of reading time. Lauren almost gives in to her anger and slams her book on the counter, but, using one of the techniques in Lauren’s plan, Mrs. Patel manages to calm Lauren down.

Tuesday is much better. Lauren manages not to lose her temper, and so she gets a sticker for good behavior. Since the sticker is her sixth one, Lauren’s mother takes Lauren out for ice cream. One would think that going to an ice cream store would make Lauren happy, but even happy places can present the little girl with challenges.

Those of us who don’t have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or who don’t know anyone who does have it, cannot begin to imagine how complicated life can be for sufferers of this disease. Through the story in this book the author helps us to see how even the simplest things can become monumental problems for someone with ASD. Readers will come to appreciate how hard Lauren tries, and they will be happy for her when she succeeds, and when she figures out how to help someone else who is having a hard time.

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