Nick and the Brick Builder Challenge

Beaming Bks. (Infinity Rainbow Club: Bk. 1). Sept. 2023. 126p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781506485959.
Gr 3-5–Nick, an autistic fourth grader, learns about teamwork and collaboration in this series opener. When the Infinity Rainbow Club, a group for neurodivergent children, competes in a brick builder challenge, Nick is forced to work with a new student named Ruby. While Nick prefers to work alone and do things his way, he learns the value of collaborating when they team up to build the best amusement park ride out of bricks. The book presents a realistic look at Nick and his life with autism, including his aversion to loud noises and experiences in the sensory gym. At the same time, the story shows nuance with his character development and highlights his other interests, like aliens and the “Jedi Academy” books. His friends in the Infinity Rainbow Club help demonstrate that autism is a spectrum. The book includes engaging black-and-white illustrations that are featured throughout.
VERDICT A relatable school story that can serve as both a “window” and “mirror” about neurodiversity; recommended for upper elementary collections.

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