Book Review: A Friend Like Ben – The Cat That Came Home For Christmas by Julia Romp

English: People with Asperger's Syndrome are o...

English: People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often preoccupied with particular, specialized areas of knowledge, such as this boy’s interest in molecular structure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Publisher: HarperCollins – 2012

Genre: True Life

ISBN: 978-0-00-737613-1


The Blurb

When a stray cat started visiting her garden, the last thing Julia needed was another addition to her household.  For Julia already had her hands full with her son George, who suffered from autism.  Quiet and withdrawn, ten-year-old George appeared lost in his own world, upset by the slightest change in his routine and unable to make friends with other children.

But George wasn’t scared by the little black-and-white visitor; instead his face lit up at the sight of him and before long George was inseparable from his new friend Ben.  It was the miracle Julia had been hoping for; George began to play with Ben and create stories about their adventures together, excitedly recounting them at tea-time.  For Julia, it was a magical way to communicate with her son, and Ben had made it possible.  That’s why when Ben went missing Julia knew she had to do everything in her power to bring him home…


My Review

I read this book because one of my own sons has an autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and I wanted to read about somebody elses experiences.

Even though George’s autism is obviously much more severe than my sons there were many parallels in the early years, I found it comforting in a way that I am not the only one who has been through the heartache of trying to get a diagnosis for your child and having to face the prejudices of uninformed strangers and friends.

Ben sounds like an amazing cat who you could not help falling in love with.

The descriptions of George’s life and how his world differs from ours was written in such a clear way that even people who have not experienced this for themselves would be able to relate and empathise.

Julia is a wonderful person who shows great perseverance, patience, love and control.  Her positive attitude throughout is an inspiration.

I really like this book and give it 4/5 stars.


~ by adelesymonds on August 7, 2012.

2 Responses to “Book Review: A Friend Like Ben – The Cat That Came Home For Christmas by Julia Romp”

  1. Hi, I found your site from Erik’s book review site. I am a pet lover, and own two cats. My previos pair recently passed on at ages 15 and 17. It amazes me how much this fluffy creature can add to a human life. I think it is wonderful that Ben and George found this connection.

    I think dogs and cats make some of the best therapists, whether the patient is depressed, lonely, ill, or autistic. Animals have a way of knowing the true us, not the outer package.

    I wish you and your son well.

    • Thank you for your lovely comments, I hope you enjoy my site. My son and I are doing quite well at the moment thanks, he will be starting a special school in September so things should improve even more.

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