Sure, everyone at school knows about Ezra. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. But I don't talk about him to anyone but Zoe…I rarely talk about him even to her. She doesn't ask and I don't tell. If I were to bare my soul about Ez, I'd worry she might turn against him or think less of me or say something about him I couldn't forgive. So I stay silent.

Meet Jenny — a teen who confides in her diary about what it is like to live with Ezra, her younger brother with autism, and her life with the most "wacky, exasperating, infuriating, amazing younger brother!"

If living with Ezra weren't hard enough, Jenny must deal with school bullies, rude classmates, and fragile friendships. But with the promise of a summer writing program and an Ezra-inspired project, Jenny finds the courage to be more than just "Ezra's sister, protector, defender, and his best and only friend," and loosens the invisible cord just enough to follow her own dreams. Includes a Note to Readers.

About the Author

Barbara Cain, MSW, is a clinical supervisor at the University of Michigan's Psychological Clinic.

Cain is also the author of several children's books on divorce, ambivalence, shyness, and diverse family structures, including two Magination Press books: Double Dip Feelings: Stories to Help Children Understand Emotions and I Don't Know Why…I Guess I'm Shy.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and Teen magazine.

She also conducts a private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Reviews & Awards
  • Silver Medal Winner, Mom's Choice Awards for Young Adult Body, Mind and Spirit

With so much focus on the scientific mysteries surrounding autism spectrum disorders (ASD), it is possible to lose sight of the struggles faced by families of individuals with ASD on a daily basis. Cain brings these experiences to life and reminds us that for many families, the mysteries of the disorder are far less academic. Questions about how and when to discipline, handling inter-generational conflict with grandparents, and dealing with the complexities of raising a typically developing child alongside a child with a disability, are just some of the issues these parents confront everyday. More importantly, Cain reminds us that the experience of living with a child with ASD is not limited to parents; siblings are at the forefront of each challenge and every triumph, and they are profoundly affected as a result.
—Somer Bishop, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center