Freya Harte is not a Puzzle by Méabh Collins is a book for young readers ( 12+) that explores autism. The reader, throughout the book, gets a very good insight as to what it is to be an autistic person. We find out about all the positives and some of the negatives of autism.
The main character in this book is Freya Harte. We find out all about her challenges as we read through the book – making friends, keeping relationships, eating , school , teachers and always feeling like she doesn’t belong. We know that Freya has a diagnosis of autism.
All Freya wants to do is fit in and to be ‘normal’. But she struggles with lots of everyday things- remembering her books, for example.
I really enjoyed this book. My favourite part was when Freya went to the Gaeltacht. Freya enjoyed her experience and sharing a room with her old best friend, Orla. Things turned bad, though, when she was pushed to go out with boys and drink alcohol for Hallowe’en. Freya did not want to do this and we see that she found the situation very difficult.
We see a new friendship emerging with Shauna and it is nice to see Freya manage her new relationships.
The story ends with Freya finding out about a new sensory room in her school.
I recommend this book for young readers that are over twelve. Some of the language is not very suitable for primary school.
I gave it a very good score of 8/10. I learned a lot about autism through this character- Freya Harte.
By Líadan, Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuirisc, Ceatharlach.
“Freya Harte Is Not A Puzzle” by Méabh Collins, published by O’Brien Press, is on sale now for €9.99 (P/B).
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review