Sally J. Pla Discusses the Importance of Honest Depictions of Autism & Mental Health

By Rebecca Kirshenbaum

As the parent of children on the autism spectrum and who also struggle with anxiety, I am a big fan of Sally J. Pla‘s books and their representations of neurodiversity. Her most recent middle grade novel Stanley Will Probably Be Fine illustrated by Steve Wolfhard (HarperCollins, 2018), and her debut The Someday Birds, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (HarperCollins,

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Guest Post: Barbara Dee on Keeping it Middle Grade: Handling Tough Topics in Fiction

Learn more about Barbara Dee.

By Barbara Dee
for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

About a year ago, on a NerdCamp panel called “Tough Topics in Middle Grade Fiction,” we were talking about how middle grade was evolving, growing up, tackling subjects that used to be considered taboo—for example, sexuality, terrorism, refugeeism, and drug use.

I asked the educators in the room which underrepresented topics they’d like to see on their bookshelves.

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