Can You See Me?


Tally feels sorry for Mrs Jessop’s lonely, three-legged dog that bites and growls at other members of her family. She takes sympathy upon worms stranded on the path to school. Tally wears a tiger mask when she is scared, for she is her father’s ‘tiger girl.’ Tally is scared when we begin her story, for she is about to begin secondary school. Nell, her older sister, has given her lots of warnings about how she must control  her urges and learn to cope. Yet coping for Tally is a very much taller order than for most, for Tally is autistic.

Blogger Libby Scott has collaborated upon ‘Can You See Me?’ with writer Rebecca Westcott. Tally is a recreation of Libby Scott’s own experience of being autistic. Alongside the story of Tally’s trials as she works to fit in and understand a wholly new and unfamiliar setting, the writers explain autism and how it affects Tally. Therefore we feel the physical pain of ringing bells, hair brushing or scratchy fabrics. We sympathise with the misunderstanding of expressions such as ‘in a couple of minutes’, and the complete confusion of lying. All of this information draws us further into Tally’s plight. We are determined her friends should be empathetic, her teachers understand and her school and family support and appreciate her.

‘Can You See Me?’ is an important, engaging, emotional story that Bookwagon recommends to all our confident and older readers.


Can You See Me?

Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott


‘Can You See Me?’ The girl behind the tiger mask? The girl trying painfully to fit in, not flinch or embarrass, but understand? Tally faces secondary school with dread about what lies ahead, despite her older sister’s advice and a Year 6 induction experience. New people, new routines, bells, shouting, clusters and communes of people, and whole realms of expectations. How will Tally adapt?
Tally is based upon the real-life experience of Libby Scott, who is autistic, like Tally. Alongside Rebecca Westcott, Libby Scott describes the sort of trials that Tally faces. These include people’s expectations, misunderstanding and intolerance. Furthermore, we realise the real, physical impact of daily life faced by Tally. We want Tally’s individual needs to be realised.
Furthermore, Tally’s diary entries explain the impact of each challenge upon her so that we are fully informed and involved. It seems as though we feel compelled to share our knowledge with the other characters, from Luke to Ms Jarman to the restaurant goers. We are even urged to intervene in her family dynamic so that her father accepts and understands her more convincingly.
Like the outstanding The Space We’re In, ‘Can You See Me?‘ is an essential, timely title.


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