Ways to Be Me
By Author / Illustrator
Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott
Representation & Inclusion
Paperback / softback
From the bestselling author duo behind Can You See Me? comes Ways to be Me, an exceptional portrayal of autism diagnosis, with diary entries by 12-year-old autistic author Libby Scott. Taking place before Can You See Me? and Do You Know Me? this standout prequel follows Tally through her autism diagnosis in her final year of primary school.
Ten-year-old Tally had high hopes for Year 6. Being in the top class at school means a whole host of privileges, but even better than that is the school production - and Tally is convinced she'll win the lead role. But at home, things aren't going so well. Mum and Dad have been making Tally feel pressured and upset, and Tally wishes things didn't bother her so much - but they do, and sometimes she feels so misunderstood and frustrated, she could explode. Then Tally's mum and dad tell her about something she's never heard about before. Something called autism. And everything changes.
The third book written in collaboration with Libby Scott & prequel to the bestselling Can You See Me? When Libby's mum shared a short piece of Libby's writing online it soon went viral, with tens of thousands of people saying that Libby's writing helped them understand autism for the first time This fictionalised portrayal of a young autistic girl is written by Rebecca Westcott, in close collaboration with Libby Scott, making it a truly original and inspirational book that will give readers of all ages a deeper understanding of what it's like to be autistic.
Perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy, Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time BOOKS BY LIBBY SCOTT AND REBECCA WESTCOTT Can You See Me? (2019) Do You Know Me? (2020) Ways To Be Me (2021)
Tally is ten years old and in Year 6. She's good at plenty of things but she really doesn't know who she is. Her teacher describes her as a model pupil, she has friends and is hoping for a big part in the school play. At the same time, she's finding it a growing struggle to fit in and at home her behaviour is causing her parents serious concern. Is she the 'silent watcher' school Tally or the 'chaos creator' she is at home? When her parents seek help to deal with her volatile behaviour, she is diagnosed with autism - and it's the first step on the road to understanding who she really is.
There's a real sense of authenticity about this book. Co-author Libby Scott is autistic and it feels like a genuine insight into one girl's experience of being different. It is by turns funny and moving and would be great for building empathy among Year 6 children. As it's set within the well-known context of a primary school, many of Tally's dilemmas will feel familiar to all readers, although her response to them is seen through the prism of autism.
It's accessibly written, with a strong, courageous heroine (who just happens to be autistic) and an important message about accepting who you are. It would make a fine class read for the end of Year 6, as children need to confront the anxieties of growing up and the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.
368 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Louisa Farrow, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 11+