King of the Marshmallows: Ready! by Lydia Ondrusek

24 Mar

PublisherQuake, a division of Echelon Press
Released: March, 2011
Genre: MG, young readers, short story
For review from  author.

Mark’s Asperger’s Syndrome makes things hard for him at school. Mark’s mom and dad think MORE school is the answer. They can’t be right–can they? When they enroll Mark in the new taekwondo school nearby, he finds that his class is filled with adults–and four kids from his school he’s never met before. So now he’s got to meet new people (ugh), learn MORE new skills (ack), and oh yeah…somewhere in there, he’s got to figure out how not to flunk English.

From Quake website.

This was my first foray into young readers short fiction. Lydia is one of my favorite peeps on twitter, so when she approached me to review the story I read the blurb and thought that it sounded great.

I really, really liked this little story. Not only was it well written and cute, I think it will be an excellent teaching tool for kids with Asperger’s Sydrome and also for kids who don’t have Asperger’s but know someone who does.

Lydia does a great job of showing, not telling. The reader is exposed to some traits of Asperger’s without being hit over the head with it. And I think this is so unbelievably important for the young age group the story is geared towards. Children will learn about Asperger’s in Ready! but probably won’t even realize it at first. The story also does a great job of demystifingy the syndrome and will make kids realize that children with Asperger’s have all the same fears, likes and concerns as they do.

I loved Mark. I just wanted to jump through the pages and give him a big ole hug. For such a short story he was a well-written and developed character.

Ready! is the first in the King of the Marshmallows short story series. The next story is out in April. And you can bet your bippy I’ll be reading and recommending it.

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One Response to “King of the Marshmallows: Ready! by Lydia Ondrusek”

  1. Susan Sipal March 24, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Loved this short story and your review. You’re right, Lydia is excellent at showing — gives the reader just enough to hint at so much more underneath without whomping them over the head.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series!

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