by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
My Brother Charlie is inspired by a true story. It is a book about a boy with autism, as told through the eyes of his twin sister. This book helps us recognize that we are all unique, with our own strengths and weaknesses.
Discussion questions from SOMN
- This story is told by Callie, a little girl whose twin brother has something called autism. Have you ever heard the word “autism” before? Charlie and Callie are pretend characters, but the book was inspired by a real family and was written by the sister and mother of a boy who is like Charlie. Encourage children to share any experiences or knowledge they have about this topic.
- What do Callie and Charlie have in common? How are they different?
- What are some things that Charlie is good at?
- Lead class discussion on working and playing with people who are different from us. Ask students to brainstorm different ideas on how to do this. Some ideas to get them started: look for things you have in common (things you both like, things you don’t like, where you live), ask them to play, show them something, ask an adult how you can help them, be patient, smile at them, etc. Brainstorm ideas on why it’s important to work and play with people who are different from us. Ask how you feel when you are included.
Classroom activities from SOMN
- Draw a picture of family member or friends doing something they are good at. Pair up and share your drawings with a partner.
- Using a large sheet of paper, or the board, have each student draw one thing Charlie is good at.