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Brief Manga review

I've mentioned here that I read some manga. I would probably read more of it if I had bookshelf space. But the manga I've been reading lately is a bit unusual.

With the Light Vol.1 and With the Light Vol 2 written by Keiko Tobe, are the first books in a series that deals with autism.

I was surprised enough when I saw these in the Diamond catalogue that I had to order them (I assumed that maybe there was inaccuracy in the ad). But they're pretty much exactly what they say they are: The story of a woman, Sachiko, who discovers that her son, Hikaru, is autistic. The book glosses over some things, but it covers a lot, including the isolation, the guilt, and the marital stress that such discoveries often cause. The first two volumes of the series take Hikaru through to the end of grade 5, and as a brief and accessible primer about the difficulties autistic children and their parents can face, it would be of interest to anyone. They can be accused of oversimplification, and that's not an unfair accusation, but I think that most of what's handled here is handled thoughtfully, and sensitively.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
twiegand
Mar. 25th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
I hope I'm not wrong in thinking that you've read THE SPEED OF DARK by Elizabeth Moon. Much older characters but still a great story.

Speaking of great stories, I'm enjoying THE HIDDEN CITY and want to thank you for it. I know you dread this question but when is the next book (any series) slated to come out. Yes, I can never get enough of your stories.
msagara
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
Speaking of great stories, I'm enjoying THE HIDDEN CITY and want to thank you for it. I know you dread this question but when is the next book (any series) slated to come out.

<3 Tom :).

CAST IN FURY is the next book, and it's an October 2008 title; I'm still writing House Name as I type and I am hoping that it will not be vastly late because after the 80 pages of flailing around to start Angel's section, and then the 80 pages of flailing around to start the first chapter (there's a long prologue), it's been going well. More accurately, I was writing, and I've finished what I can for tonight (we had guests, again, so I started late because -- ugh -- the sinus infection is fighting back =/.
ovirginsaint
Mar. 25th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
I did wonder why Angel had not showed up, but I figured he'd have his own story later. I loved the book, and I found that it answered some questions that I had about Jewel's personality (I won't go into it because I don't want to spoil any details for everybody else who reads this journal) between Hunter and Sun Sword. My husband is looking forward to having some time to be able to sit down and read it also; he's a huge fan of your Elantra series. (It's the dragons, he loves them XD <3)
msagara
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
Oops, and yes, I did read the Moon and thought it very good; I actually liked the mystery whose title has completely disappeared better for its internal viewpoint of an autistic/asperger man.
leahbobet
Mar. 25th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (she said, fulfilling her other function of finding the lost stuff). *g*
msagara
Mar. 25th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
(she said, fulfilling her other function of finding the lost stuff).

You would have been so helpful here tonight -- it took me 15 minutes to find my coffee cup. Because. Well. I put it down while I was thinking about something and wandered away...
leahbobet
Mar. 25th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Hee. Never has this happened before, clearly. *g*
domynoe
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Thank you for this. My son is autistic and I've been rather surprised at how seldom autistics are portrayed in fiction, TV, and movies considering how prevalent the diagnoses is. Have them both in my cart for the next time I actually can buy something. :P
msagara
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Thank you for this. My son is autistic and I've been rather surprised at how seldom autistics are portrayed in fiction, TV, and movies considering how prevalent the diagnoses is.

I think that's why I was surprised to see this as well. As I said, it does simplify, because it covers birth to grade 5 in 2 volumes, but while it simplifies, it does touch on all of the problems and difficulties. I really liked them. I think what she got absolutely right is the way that younger children will adapt -- and help out -- if they are encouraged to do so; that they're more forgiving and more understanding in a supportive environment, and that their understanding and the social network it provides makes the autistic child's life -so much- easier.

How old is your son?
domynoe
Mar. 25th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
He'll be 16 this summer. We're past the "oh my god, autism" stuff. Now we're in the "Okay, the autism stuff is so much easier than the teenager stuff!" lol

We're lucky, he's a high functioning moderate and in one of the best (if not THE best) public school county for autistics. His current classroom has 3 students, 1 teacher, and 1 or 2 para-pros. We've had a hard time since moving from California, but for his sake I am sooooooooo glad we did. He advanced more in a school year here than he did for most of his elementary years there.

I've considered writing about him, or using him as a template for a fictional character, but I've not really been able to approach it. Parenting an autistic takes a lot out of you, even when they are high functioning and not in the severe category. It's one of the reasons I couldn't substitute teach in a special ed classroom--I already have enough going on with my own son. Love him dearly, but having to deal with more than one of him would just be too hard.

You can read more about him on our rather out of date website about him here: http://taz.domynoes.net/

Edited at 2008-03-25 04:06 am (UTC)
lnhammer
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
I've been interested in this ever since coming across a mention of it in an awards list. It's been officially translated, then? Which publisher?

(Another one I'm interested in as Your Hands Are Whispering, about a romance between a deaf woman and a hearing man.)

---L.
msagara
Mar. 25th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
I've been interested in this ever since coming across a mention of it in an awards list. It's been officially translated, then? Which publisher?

The publisher is: Yen Press, which is part of the Hachette Group (which used to be Warner, or Time-Warner, I think). Vol 1 translates the first 2 Japanese volumes; Vol 2 translates 3&4. They are oversized, for manga (meaning larger than standard manga pages), and obviously a fair bit thicker. I don't single them out as marvels of subtle writing, but in general, I don't read manga for marvels of subtle writing, and I'm not sure that subtlety is required.
lnhammer
Mar. 25th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
It's like the decided to create bunko versions from the tankobons. And I see by their web site, they've scheduled through volume 5 (presumably the Japanese 9 & 10). Innnnteresting.

---L.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )