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Young Adult Fiction Siblings

Are You Seeing Me?

by (author) Darren Groth

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2015
Siblings, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Disabilities & Special Needs
Recommended Age
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Twins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.

It's been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.

For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies and earthquakes. For Justine, it's an opportunity to learn how to let go—of Perry, of her boyfriend, Marc—and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.

But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble...

About the author

Darren Groth is the author of seven novels including Kindling (Hachette Australia, 2010), Are You Seeing Me? (Orca, 2017), Munro vs. the Coyote (Orca, 2017) and Infinite Blue (Orca, 2018). He won the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literature and has been nominated for numerous other prestigious prizes, among them the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the BC Book Prizes, the OLA White Pine Award, the CBCA Book of the Year (Australia), and the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (Australia). Groth is a passionate advocate for the representation of neurodiversity and intellectual disability in literature, and is the proud father of a son with autistic spectrum disorder. When he’s not watching American Ninja Warrior with his beautiful wife, he’s eating Fatburger with his wondrous twins. He lives in Vancouver, BC.

Darren Groth's profile page


  • Commended, Stella Read Up Reading List
  • Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
  • Short-listed, BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize
  • Short-listed, The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
  • Short-listed, The Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks) - Children's Text
  • Commended, Stiftung Internationale Jugendbibliothek The White Ravens

Editorial Reviews

"Groth’s vibrant descriptions of setting shine...Even the highway pit stops and hotel stays are painted with vivid, film-like details...Though it’s classified as a young adult book, Are You Seeing Me? will appeal to readers of all ages because of its depth of story. Groth deftly and sensitively addresses the issues of living with autism, but the book’s focus and strength is in the complex but touching relationship between siblings."

Cleaver Magazine

“Funny and profoundly moving, this is a book everyone should read. It’s about seeing the person in all their unique glory, not just the disability, or even worse, the unhelpful label...A celebration of family, life, love and loss. Loved. Loved. Loved. This. Are you hearing me? Six stars. At least.”

Chris Bongers, author of shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year <em> Intruder </em>

"I laughed a lot and cried buckets as I guzzled this gorgeous and deeply affecting book. You and every young adult you know should read it!”

“Groth’s writing [is] continuously deft and striking...For those who enjoy narratives that delve into an illuminating alternative consciousness [this work] is highly recommended.”

Australian Book Review

“A funny and beautiful story about love, life and other disasters, told with the help of Robinson Crusoe and Jackie Chan. I think what we’re 'seeing' here is a writer at the top of his game. Just wonderful.”

Michael Gerard Bauer, author of CBCA Book of the Year <em>The Running Man</em>

"Groth has blown me away. I want to stand up and applaud him. Perry is just what YA fiction needed...Serious and funny, heartwarming and touching, Are You Seeing Me? is the type of book that will stay with you for a long time. It is a standout contemporary that everyone should read. I highly, highly recommend it.”


“A memorable, beautifully written novel…The dialogue between (the twins) and in their communication with others is particularly good and often enlivened with wit and humour."

Magpies Magazine

"The story unfolds with intimacy and affection, shown through the twins' special nicknames for each other and each sibling's desire to do right by the other."

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] strong portrayal of the complexity of sibling relationships and the impact of death on their lives...The dual narrative structure effortlessly takes us inside the minds and emotions of both siblings...[Groth] describes Perry skillfully, with affection and respect.”

The Australian

"Are you Seeing Me? is a beautifully-written and engaging coming-of-age novel."

Canucks Autism Network

"Heartwarming, humorous, and hopeful...Groth has created a moving and authentic novel about finding one's place in the world, as well as a realistic portrait of a very likable autistic teen. The complex characters and multi-layered situations will engage both reluctant and sophisticated readers who will be rooting for all."

School Library Connection

"Ultimately the novel unsettles entrenched clich&eacutes about weak or needy disabled characters."

Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures

"I felt myself wanting to reach out and hug every character, tightly, the whole way through. The experience made my heart hurt in a special way...I think fans of Melina Marchetta (and basically anyone with a beating heart) will love this journey."


"Groth has provided a praiseworthy addition to the currently available titles dealing with ASD as well as a strong young adult read that will hold its own among other intelligent titles for this age group. Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine

"This book made me smile, cry, and sometimes both at the same time...The most impressive thing about this book was how skillfully Groth wrote in Perry’s point of view...He’s brought a very important narrative to the forefront. One that paints mental disability not as a handicap that a family must endure, but rather a further reason to love and adore those with these disabilities. As something that actually brings them closer as a family rather than pulling them apart. It’s amazing to finally read a narrative with this message."

Roberta's Literary Ramblings blog

“I absolutely adored this book. Mostly because Perry is such an incredibly lovable and original character but also because it was just so darn touching it made me cry tears of happiness...This is a powerful, beautifully written novel.”


"Their adventures are distinctly Rain Man-esque as quiet humour bubbles up naturally from the honesty and poignancy of their relationship...A sensitive import executed with compassion, care and wit."

The Globe and Mail

"The novel is very well written with multiple points of view and realistic characters experiencing complex personal relationships. Readers will be able to relate to their family problems and will also come to understand some of the challenges faced by young adults living with autism."

Resource Links

"Written powerfully with both the heart and the head, and neither gives an inch. It’s funny, moving and hugely insightful. Darren Groth puts the reader into the heads of Perry and Justine in a way that feels so true and so revealing that I think I’ve come away with a greater capacity for empathy. I didn’t know a book could do that. We all need to spend some time inside this story.”

Nick Earls, author of CBCA Book of the Year <em> 48 Shades of Brown</em>

"An insightful and rewarding road-trip story about 19-year-old Australian twins Perry and Justine...Told from the alternating perspectives of both twins, along with excerpts from their father’s journal, Groth’s story is uncommonly sensitive, his characters’ emotional journeys as critical as their physical ones."

Publishers Weekly

"Touches on universal themes of love and loss; it is also very timely...Groth shows us, through the twins' often humorous adventures and misadventures, the challenges faced by autistic adults and their loved ones, as well as their extraordinary resilience and coping skills...A fun, interesting read...[that will] appeal to readers who enjoy stories about relationships, road trips, and what makes a family work."

Quill & Quire

"[An] engrossing novel...The author’s firsthand experience with ASD (he’s a former teacher and a father) makes this a fantastic look into the lives of those touched by these disorders."

Booklist Online

Librarian Reviews

Are You Seeing Me?

Twins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.  It's been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.

Twin siblings, Perry and Justine, travel to British Columbia to find their long lost mother in this young adult novel. Communication is a major theme as the twins take turns narrating the story. Both of the twins face many challenges and their stories will intrigue reluctant readers. Teachers can use this book to explore and expand understanding of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author available for school visits @darrengroth

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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