Slug Days ( Slug Days Stories #1 )

$12.95 USD

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Lauren, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (an umbrella term that has included Asperger Syndrome since 2013), navigates the ups and downs of school and home life. School friendships have always been a challenge, but Lauren finds she is exactly the friend a brand new classmate needs

On slug days Lauren feels slow and slimy. She feels like everyone yells at her, and that she has no friends. Today there is a different bus driver; Dan and Sachi are sitting in Lauren's seat on the bus; and Lauren's teacher interrupts her reading time. It is definitely a slug day. But not every day is like this. On butterfly days Lauren makes her classmates laugh, or goes to get ice cream, or works on a special project with Mom.

Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder (an umbrella term that has included Asperger Syndrome since 2013), and she sees the world differently from many people. Sometimes this can be frustrating and makes Lauren want to flip her lid, especially at school where she learns differently from her classmates. But with support and stubbornness and a flair that's all her own, Lauren masters tricks to stay calm, to understand others' feelings, and to let her personality shine. She even manages to find common ground with her sticky, slobbery baby sister. Best of all, it is being different that gives Lauren insight into the insecurities of the new student, Irma.

Award-winning author Sara Leach writes Lauren's endearing story with empathy and humor, and sends her flying off like a butterfly into a new chapter of life with a new friend.


Sara Leach hails from Whistler, BC, where she loves to ski, hike and bike. Her middle grade novel Count Me In won the Red Cedar Book Award for 2012/13. In addition to being a children's author, she is also an elementary school teacher-librarian. She has had the privilege of teaching several amazing students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and her experience working with them inspired her chapter books Slug Days, Penguin Days, and Duck Days.


2017 Foreword INDIES Juvenile Fiction Award Finalist

2018 ALA Schneider Family Middle School Book Award Finalist

2019 Chocolate Lily Award: Chapter Book/Early Novel nominee

2018 Huffpost, 17 Books That Promote Understanding of Autism selection

2018 A Mighty Girl, A Different Way of Thinking: 20 Books About Autistic Mighty Girls selection

2018 USBBY Outstanding International Books List selection

2018 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens Spring Edition Starred Selection

Slug Days wisely presents autism as neither disability nor exceptionalism. It's a fact that Lauren lives with; it shapes her encounters without necessarily limiting them. At the book's core lies a wish that anyone can identify with: the need for a friend. This winsome, gentle introduction to differences will be a positive addition to school and home libraries.--Foreword Reviews

A thoroughly 'kid friendly' story that is as entertaining as it is informative, Slug Days is unreservedly recommended as an important and highly valued addition to preschool, elementary school and community library collections for children ages 4 to 8.--Midwest Book Review

In creating a nuanced, formidable character, Leach tackles a challenging topic with skill and even some lightness.--Quill & Quire

On 'slug days' Lauren feels 'slow and slimy.' She's aware of how her autism spectrum disorder makes her behave differently from her classmates, but that doesn't mean it's always easy to know how to act. The first-person narration makes Lauren's logic clear, even as readers may see why something she does is funny...Lauren has plenty of support from the adults around her, who provide hints about responding to social cues and strategies such as squeezing a ball or an eraser in stressful moments. (Leach's experience teaching students with ASD, mentioned in the appended author's note, shows in the specificity of these suggestions.) Lauren's happier 'butterfly days' become something to root for, as she bonds with her baby sister and eventually makes a friend. Frequent clear pencil and digital illustrations break up the sometimes-long paragraphs and should help young readers understand Lauren's emotions and others' reactions.--The Horn Book Magazine

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