cover image of same but different

Same But Different

Same But Different is a semi-autobiographical book about twins Callie and Charlie. They have the same ups and downs as most teenagers, but the fact that Charlie has autism leads to some different struggles and victories.


Age it’s best for: 12-16

Why your child will love it

Same But Different is an easy to read book that does two things very well. It helps the reader understand what Charlie’s experience of having high functioning autism is like. And it gives a voice to the many siblings who live this experience.

Teens will appreciate the honesty in Same But Different. Callie writes about the pressure she feels to always be good and strong and her brother’s protector. Sometimes she feels embarrassed and resentful. And Charlie clearly expresses how he feels overprotected, misunderstood, and confused.

Same But Different is written in alternating chapters from Callie’s and Charlie’s points of view. This lets readers see how the twins sometimes see the same situation very differently. This is particularly powerful in the Why Me? chapter, when each asks “why?” about the things they struggle with because of Charlie’s autism.

Same But Different is an easy to read book that does two things very well. It helps the reader understand what Charlie’s experience of having high functioning autism is like. And it gives a voice to the many siblings who live this experience.

Teens will appreciate the honesty in Same But Different. Callie writes about the pressure she feels to always be good and strong and her brother’s protector. Sometimes she feels embarrassed and resentful. And Charlie clearly expresses how he feels overprotected, misunderstood, and confused.

Same But Different is written in alternating chapters from Callie’s and Charlie’s points of view. This lets readers see how the twins sometimes see the same situation very differently. This is particularly powerful in the Why Me? chapter, when each asks “why?” about the things they struggle with because of Charlie’s autism.


Why you will love it

Same But Different gives a very real and clear picture of both what it means to be a teenager who has high functioning autism and what it feels like to be their sibling. It’s honest about the challenges and frustrations, while showing the love and respect the twins have for each other.

The book is written by a real family, based on their experiences, and includes sections by the twins’ mother that give more information about the family’s journey.

There is a Resource Guide for further information about autism, with specific information about teens and transitions to adulthood.

Same But Different is a follow up to the picture book My Brother Charlie. Read the Butterfly Books recommendation for that book here.

**This story is about a teen who has high functioning autism and so does not represent all children and teens with autism


Beyond the book

Here are some things you and your child can talk about after reading Same But Different:

  • Did your child learn anything from the book? What surprised them or interested them most about Callie and Charlie’s stories?
  • If your child has a sibling with autism, are there parts of Callie’s story that feel the same as theirs? Or different? If your child has autism, are there parts of Charlie’s story that feel the same as theirs? Or different?
  • Talk about the examples where Callie and Charlie see a situation differently (eg wearing a hoodie, using deodorant, giving money to ‘friends’). How can they best understand and support each other?

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