Rebecca & Heart is an enchanting story, by Deanna Klingel, the author of Spokes. In Rebecca & Heart, we meet a young orphan girl named Rebecca, who we quickly learn is autistic. Not only is she an orphan, but no one at the orphanage likes her, let alone respects her. Because of her autism, they consider her “odd.” Well, that is, unless we forget to mention the Fly on the Wall, who is the narrator of this story.
Literally, the “Fly on the Wall” is a character in the story that tells the tale from beginning to end. He considers himself to be Rebecca’s best friend, even though Rebecca does not know that he exists! Klingel’s use of a fly to tell the story is pure genius! Anyone familiar with autism knows that many autistic children are non-verbal. Having an autistic protagonist of the story, makes the concept of dialogue quite challenging. Klingel easily gets around that obstacle by having the Fly on the Wall tell us what is happening throughout the story; thus creating more authenticity for the story and its protagonist, Rebecca.
Rebecca & Heart will steal your heart!
Rebecca & Heart, set in pre-World War II England, evokes a time when, as a society, we knew very little about autism. Therefore, Rebecca was never properly diagnosed or treated. Yet, this is not a sad story. On the contrary, Klingel brings out the beauty and wonders associated with children on the autistic spectrum.
While at the orphanage, Rebecca discovers a little dog that likes to hang out near the back steps. Every day, Rebecca likes to sit out on the back steps to shell the peas for the nightly dinner. One day, the little dog shows up and he becomes her first friend. She calls him “Heart.” He’s a scroungy little thing, without a home too! Together, they forge a friendship. Well, that is until one day when Rebecca gets adopted. There’s no way Rebecca wants to leave the orphanage without Heart. So, she smuggles him in her belongings. No one discovers the dog, until they reach Rebecca’s new home. From here, the story really takes off, with the adventures of Rebecca and Heart, and let’s not forget that Fly on the Wall!
Why You Should Read Rebecca & Heart
This heart-warming story is filled with love, patience, and friendship. I highly recommend it for all young adults (middle school to teenagers). This entertaining story will also teach your young adult how to appreciate the talents and gifts associated with autistic children.
If you would like to get your copy of Rebecca & Heart, click here.
If you would like to purchase an autographed copy of my book, Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity: Finding Patience, then click here.