Bullying is a hot topic at schools across the United States. So, when I was given an opportunity to review Craig Meets Dave and Learns about Autism, Bullying, and Friendship by Susanne Breckwoldt, I was very curious to learn what my son would think about the story.
As a mother, I loved the basic premise of this book. My son has a rather extensive library, but I’ve never come across a book about autism and bullying specifically. Unfortunately, I greatly misjudged the reading level of the book based on the brief Amazon website description. I assumed that a book with bears as the main characters would be appropriate for a first or second grade reading level.
In the story, however, Craig and Dave are in the fourth grade. I’m guessing that’s about the age a child would need to be in order to read this book independently. Even then, the vocabulary choices might be a bit challenging.
My seven-year old son reads at an above average level for his age, but he needed a fair amount of help with this book. Of course, you could make the argument that autism is a complicated topic anyway and thus, one parents should be discussing with their children as they are reading.
Craig Meets Dave does a nice job of explaining autism in a way that is appropriate for children. Craig learns why Dave is different from the other bears in both positive and negative ways. The consequences of bullying are explored fairly well, although again I think some of the plot points might have been a bit too advanced for my son to fully comprehend.
If you’re looking for a good book about bullying and autism to read with a child in the older elementary grades, however, I think Craig Meets Dave is an excellent choice.
photo credit: Amazon