Cammie McGovern's Eye Contact is one of the latest releases in the growing "autism lit" genre. It's a good mystery story with realistic characters, interesting plot twists, and an unpredictable resolution.
I hated it.
I found it hard to focus on the actual plot of the novel because I was too distracted by the sickness growing in my stomach and by the panic rising in my chest. From my vantage point, this was not a mystery story; it was a warning:
Be aware that people will taunt, torment, harass and harm your child. They may even kill him.
Do not send your child to school. School is dangerous. Teachers and aides cannot possibly watch your child at all times and if they look away for only a moment, unspeakable things can happen.
If you take the risk and send your child to elementary school and he has the good fortune to survive the experience, do not under any circumstances send him to middle school.
If you are foolhardy enough to send him to middle school, do not let him ride the bus.
Do not let him go to the restroom unattended.
Do not let him walk through school hallways by himself.
Do not make him go to study halls.
Do not make him open his locker.
Your child is not safe.
This book is too well-written, so it pierces me in all the places I feel most vulnerable. This week, for more than one reason, those places were even more vulnerable than usual, and Eye Contact hit me with a full-force blow that knocked me to the ground.
That probably means it's a very good book. But I wouldn't recommend it.