The Schmooze

Reading and Thinking About Books

On Monday, Tom Fields-Meyer took a look at autism and God. His posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite, courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:


EachSaturday morning, I ask my son Ezra the same question. As our family prepares to head out for the walk to synagogue, I stop Ezra with five words before he gets to the door:

“Do you have your books?”

This sends him to his bedroom to fill his red backpack with a handful of volumes: the “Pixarpedia,” a detailed taxonomy of Pixar’s animated movies; a 600-plus page animal encyclopedia; and sometimes a canine almanac called “The Dog Breed Bible.”

It’s an unusual selection, but Ezra, who is 15, is a singular kid. High-functioning autism makes it difficult for him to sit in one place, whether that place is his math classroom, a restaurant booth or the pews of our neighborhood synagogue. Since he was young, the one thing that could get Ezra to sit still was a book.

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Reading and Thinking About Books

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