A Friend for Henry

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review

Henry’s keen to make friends in his class. However, it’s proving a bit of a challenge and he’s getting increasingly frustrated with his peers.

There’s the girl who waves her hands right in his face, the boy who runs off with the mat that Henry has put in the "right" place, even a child who digs up worms. Plus, people get cross with him for doing things that he thinks are kind. However, with time, Henry learns that friendship is possible and the benefits are definitely mutual.

This is a gentle story of a boy who often struggles to understand the behaviour of those around him. The author’s own experience has given her a well-defined awareness of some of the challenges and experiences that children on the autistic spectrum can encounter. However, autism is not referred to directly and the trials of trying to find friendship are undoubtedly universal.

All young readers will empathise with Henry and find reassurance in the book’s ultimate message of hope.

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