Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World

Book - 2009 | 1st ed
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Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
Publisher: New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION STO
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780545054744


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MindyShepherd Oct 22, 2014

This is my second reading of Marcelo in the Real World. What elevates it as a work of literary fiction are the various strands of moral tension, the beauty of the writing, the thought-provoking insights, and the inexorable growth of main character, Marcelo, a teenager at the high end of the autistic spectrum. Author Stork was fortunate to work with C. Klein, whose steady editorial hand can be seen in the book's impeccable structure, pacing, and high emotional stakes. I recommend it highly.

Oct 17, 2013

Sweet and humorous a well as thought provoking. However, I thought it had a simplified ending that somewhat "missed" - a bit too Pollyanna for me.

Aug 02, 2013

This is an awesome book! I would read this book again and again!

Vero_biblio May 28, 2013

What a great piece of Teen fiction! It deals with Asperger syndrome, which in itself is quite an interesting topic, but it's much more than that. The plot also deals with ethics in litigation law, standing up for yourself and for those around you, and with finding out who you are and what you want as a young adult. What a great book!

Jun 26, 2012

The hype surrounding this title seemed like the ideal amount: mentioned a few times in literary publications, a starred review in Publishers Weekly, winner of a somewhat-obscure book award. (Huh. My idea of "ideal hype" doesn't involve any raving book blog reviews. It'd be interesting to examine that idea further.) But it looks like my expectations still ended up a wee bit too high.

Let's start with Marcelo. He's introduced to the reader in a variety of situations in which he's comfortable, allowing us time to get used to his unique viewpoint. There are pages solid with passages of his narration that are, not if exactly likeable, certainly thought-provoking. And perhaps in that Stork has accomplished the most impressive feat of capturing the true voice of a teen with Asperger's; an ordinary person wouldn't ever comprehend the way he or she thinks.

One strike against this book is the side characters. Oh, they're all intricately layered, but none are quite all the way on Marcelo's side. Therefore, the feeling that we're in over our heads never goes away, which makes the 300 pages a little uncomfortable. Rabbi Heschel is a spout of wit and wisdom; in contrast, Wendell is cruel pond scum and Arturo (Marcelo's father) isn't worthy of his son. Even Jasmine stays a bit too enigmatic for my taste.

(Goodness. At this rate, I'll probably end up nominating Namu as my favourite side character.)

The first fifteen or so chapters are paced on the slow side, with Stork laying down the groundwork through Marcelo's observations of his workplace. What the groundwork was for soon becomes apparent, and it's that particular mystery that rings true the most (and also picks up the pace). Instead of facing touchy issues like lust, competition and hate, injustice is at the heart of this plotline, making it much easier for the reader to side with Marcelo.

Okay, I'm just going to drop all remaining vestiges of professionalism here and say Marcelo in the Real World didn't ring a chord, though I felt like it had the potential to. It's definitely still worth a read, because I can see the good parts of it. It's just not for me, I guess.

Dec 17, 2011

Marcelo is quite likable and that makes this book a genial read! Insightful line: "For all the pain I saw at Paterson, it is nothing compared to the pain that people inflict upon each other in the real world"

CSchmidt1 Nov 21, 2011

An enjoyable and insightful work of fiction from the perspective of a young man with autism. It helps the reader to appreciate the conflicts encountered when an incredibly literal person who is not neuro-typical struggles to make his way in the "real world." Some language is course but only as necessary to accurately reflect authentic situations and individuals. It can be heartbreaking when you reflect that the rules and values we try to instill in children growing to adulthood are the same rules we often bend to the point of breaking. Inspiring.

Aug 23, 2011

I loved the characters and couldn't put the book down once I got into it. The writer definitely succeeded in the suspense department for me. He also did a great job of giving the reader a glimpse into the mind of a teen with Asperger's. Enjoyable read.

momlovesbooks17 Jun 20, 2011

I loved this story! It gave me some understanding of what is going on in the mind of someone with Aspergers. There was some suspense in the book and it was a great story - showing the good and evil in the world.

Feb 28, 2011

Great book, Marcelo is a very lovable character that you can't help but root for. Also, the plot gave me a surprise, I thought I could see where the author was going with the plot but Francisco took a totally unexpected route. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a read that is "real world" orientated ;-) Marcelo's problems are very rooted in the real world and how we as people operate. Marcelo provides an awesome perspective on what drives people, on the human emotions that drive people because he is a bit removed from such emotions and so struggles to understand them.

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Add Age Suitability
Feb 27, 2011

andrewha1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 21

Dec 07, 2009

TamaraTracy thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Aug 23, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Aug 23, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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