If I was a letter, I would be a Z, even though my name starts with a H. H for Hudson. If we're going to be talking, then you need to know my name.
Published in January 2016 by Barrington Stoke
Hudson is a skilled reader of books, but not so much with people. Mum's new bloke Louis is keen to help, and in turn Hudson passes on what he learns to future sibling Zed (for zygote). This all comes in useful at granddad's funeral as Hudson deals with grief, his dad's feelings of guilt and his own sadness about his parents' separation. Hudson's self-awareness about his Asperger's and how it affects him (and others) gives him a distinctive and insightful voice that offers an astute and ultimately uplifting take on the world.
I've always been intrigued by the Barrington Stoke books and I'm so glad I finally got the opportunity to read one. Sita writes so beautifully and completely captures the characters within this story. Told in first person by Hudson, you realise immediately that he is on the Autistic Spectrum by his need to count things and his difficulty in understanding all the signals used in social interactions. He needs help in reading people and as you witness throughout the story, he doesn't always say the right things at the right time. There is a lot going on in Hudson's life right now and he is having trouble dealing with it all. He is such a sweet and loveable character.
I loved the car wash scenes. Without realising, Hudson helps his dad deal with his grief and enlightens him on how he can move forward. His dad has struggled to cope for so long and seems to have carried a lot of guilt over his father's condition. I got the impression his dad felt like he had done enough for his own dad, even though he gave up his family to look after him. The ending to the book is just perfect.
Sita captures a poignant moment in a teenager's life and shows how important family life really is. You can't give up hope that life won't get better. An ideal book for any teenager dealing with bereavement. Also an excellent example of how people with Aspergers view the world differently.
If you don't know about them, the Barrington Stoke books are super readable. The books are written by some of the UK's finest authors, also involved are a selection of highly rated illustrators. Together, they have produced these compact, yet perfectly formed books that not only make reading more accessible to reluctant and dyslexic readers, but they will appeal to the wider audience as well. I love the idea of shorter reads like this and I really wish they had been available when I was at school. This book has made a Barrington Stoke fan out of me. I'm happy to shout my mouth off about Barrington Stoke at every opportunity and look forward to reading more.