The poignant story of a girl coping with Asperger’s syndrome as she navigates the foreign territory of friendship…
Eighth grader Kiara has a difficult time making — and keeping — friends. She has Asperger’s syndrome, so relating to other people doesn’t come naturally. Most of the time, she relies on Mr. Internet — her go-to when the world doesn’t make sense, which is often — and her imagination, where she daydreams that she’s Rogue, one of the mutant superheroes of the X-Men. In the comics, Rogue hurts anyone she touches, but eventually learns to control her special power. Kiara hasn’t discovered her own special power yet, but when 12-year-old Chad and his sweet younger brother move in across the street, she hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. She’s even willing to keep Chad’s secrets and help him do something she knows is wrong, if that’s what it takes. Being a true friend is complicated, but it might be just the thing that leads her to her special power.
A Junior Library Guild selection
Nominee, 2014 ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
The depth of Kiara’s loneliness, her capacity for empathy (though she’s unsure of when and how to express it), and her persistence in her quest for true friendship make the book a substantive addition to the emerging body of youth literature about Asperger’s.
— Horn Book
Readers will find themselves relating to, empathizing with, and ultimately cheering for this unexpected heroine who proves in the end, despite her difficulties, to be a true and wise friend.
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Miller-Lachmann raises multiple questions through this gripping, gritty story: What does it mean to be a friend? How do you find your place and your talents in the world? While this is certainly a story about a young girl coming to terms with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s much more a story about what it means to be a friend.
— Great Kid Books
Kiara is an important contribution to the literary portrayal of Asperger’s syndrome. With an insider’s knowledge and a gift for creating suspense, Lyn Miller-Lachmann gives us the realistic and hopeful story of a young person seeking to find her unique place in the world.
— Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World
I enjoyed this book, because it was interesting to see how someone who is usually looked down upon in society, is finally given a chance to show who they are. I found it interesting, to see her mind processes different ideas, her opinions on different subjects, and to see how people react towards her. This book was realistic and fast paced. I would recommend it to teenagers, who are interested in seeing a life, where communicating is hard and being given a chance is rare.
— Erika, teen reader, California
Mr. Internet is an activity that draws from Kiara’s dependence on the Internet to explain the world. In her effort to understand social relationships and respond to social dilemmas, she writes various forums for advice. Students take on the role of “Mr. Internet” and give Kiara advice related to four scenarios touched on in the novel.
Where to buy this book
Rogue. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin. ISBN 978-0-399-16225-1.