I was very lucky to be able to hear Grandin speak recently. I don’t think you can walk away from such an occasion and not feel moved. I wanted to know more. It was odd, though, even her own booksellers were warning people away from some of her books, saying they contained too much science. Then I remembered that when Grandin was asked about how to tell children that they are on the autism spectrum, she recommended Montgomery’s biography of her. She said it was written at the 6th grade level. Since that was about the last time I did well in science, I figured it was the book for me.

It is a clear account of how Grandin struggled with her autism. No, that’s not quite accurate. It’s more about how other people, including her father, struggled with her autism. And it is also about – and this is, both Montgomery and Grandin make clear, very much related – how she turned her time, energy and creativity to helping animals. It’s a clear and inspiring story, one that will prompt a lot of questions from your young reader, to be sure. (And you should probably be prepared to eat vegetarian meals while your child is reading it.)