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Marcelo in the Real World

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,880 Ratings  ·  2,217 Reviews
Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasm ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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  • Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X. Stork
    Marcelo In The Real World
    Release date: Feb 01, 2011
    Enter now for a chance to win a copy of three Francisco X. Stork titles: Marcelo in the Real World, Irises, and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors! ...more

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    Availability: 10 copies available, 1885 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 04 - Feb 08, 2016

    Countries available: US

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    George It has a few curse words, and it mentions sex (iirc all in conversation and nothing graphic). I think it would be appropriate for most high school age…moreIt has a few curse words, and it mentions sex (iirc all in conversation and nothing graphic). I think it would be appropriate for most high school age kids.(less)
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    Dec 06, 2011 karen rated it really liked it

    first, some blathering. it is, after all, me...

    i understand why writers like carl hiaasen and james patterson and them are now writing books for younger readers, after having already established themselves as writers of adult fiction with considerable staying power. get 'em while they are young and then when they grow into the adult section, they already have the name-recognition. friends for life, paying their electricity bills...

    but why do authors like this one and suzanne collins write exclu
    Jun 02, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Tatiana by: ala
    Shelves: ya, 2010, ala-ya-2010
    Marcelo Sandoval is 17 and has a mild form of autism which makes him... well, different. Knowing that he is often perceived to be mentally challenged, Marcelo prefers to stay close to the circle of his friends and people who know that there is nothing wrong with him intellectually. He is planning to spend his final school year at Patterson, a specialized school where he is surrounded by the students just like him, he also has a summer job lined up working with horses in his school's stables. How ...more
    Maggie Stiefvater
    Mar 09, 2009 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: recommended
    I actually finished this book a few days ago, and aside from a general glow of well-being and happiness, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. Was it really a five star book to go on my goodreads page? But then, after recommending it once every single day since then, I've realized . . . yep, it is. It's a quiet book, thanks to the subdued narration style on Marcelo's part, but it's a good one.

    Marcelo is a very high-functioning autistic -- so high-functioning that even the label Asperger's doesn't
    Dec 19, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing
    Absolutely stunning. I haven't read a book worthy of five stars in a while, and I am so grateful to my friend for recommending this to me.

    Marcelo hears music that no one else can. He has been diagnosed with an impairment similar to autism, but higher-functioning - he can process things but it takes him time, and he is able to adapt to social situations through learning and experience. However, this is not enough to satisfy his father, a powerful and persuasive lawyer. His father decides to have
    Mike Mullin
    Feb 03, 2011 Mike Mullin rated it it was amazing
    This book is so good I may have to take a break from reading--anything else wouldn't measure up. It's so good I'm consumed with despair that I will never write anything as beautiful or as important. It's so good I can't review it properly--any words I might choose wouldn't do it justice.
    I have a lot of conflicting emotions about this book.

    The good: It's a fast read and an interesting story. There's shades of gray, interesting moral dilemmas, attention to detail that makes situations and characters come brilliantly to life, and a main character whose situation is way intriguing. An autistic teenager who's gone to a school for disabled kids his whole life, and now suddenly has to adjust to working at his dad's law firm for the summer. There's a lot of inherent conflict and story
    Morgan F
    It's not really a three, but wasn't quite a four.

    Seventeen year old Marcelo Sandoval is different. He hears music no one else can hear, his social development is stumped, and his special interests include religion, classical music, and therapy ponies. Marcelo is looking forward to a summer of working as a stable boy at Paterson, a school for kids with special needs, when his father tells him that he must get out of his comfort zone and join the "real world" or else he won't be able to go to Pat
    jo mo

    plɹoʍ lɐǝɹ ǝɥʇ uı olǝɔɹɐɯ
    marcelo can be a bit naive, but not in an annoying way. he's naive in the way that makes you wonder how the hell you turned out so bitter and question why the world can't be as simple or straightforward as someone like marcelo sees it. marcelo is just a great person and anyone would be lucky to have him as a friend. many of the people marcelo encounters at the law firm treat him like crap or act as though he's stupid. so being marcelo's friend would probably lead me
    Cait Grace
    Gosh. ANOTHER book I had a super hard time rating. I really loved the characters/writing, but the plot? Ugh. It was not my thing at all. I have a lot of problems with this book. I love it a lot, but I'm giving it a 3. Am I confusing you? Okay, okay. Let's talk about this.

    The characters were simultaneously brilliant and frustrating. The narrator is Marcelo. He's about 16 (I'm not sure, exactly, but he'll be entering his last year of high school after the summer). He's on the Apserger's Spe
    Sherrie Petersen
    May 25, 2010 Sherrie Petersen rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: reviewed
    Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and wished there was more? Or better yet, wished your writing could move people the way that the story moved you? Marcelo in the Real World is that kind of book.

    It's no secret that I love fantasy, but I try to read outside of the genre as well. Marcelo isn't a super hero. He's a teenage boy with an unidentified cognitive disorder who is comfortable with his routines, his special-ed school, his job at the therapeutic riding stables. His father decides tha
    Feb 12, 2009 Homeschoolmama rated it it was ok
    UPDATE 2/8/09

    My initial impression still stands. Although I liked the way the author had the main character Marcelo speak, and how he added certain quirks that were realistic, Stork was unable to keep it consistent.. and some characteristics were not compatible w/someone w/Aspergers..such as speaking in literal terms only and then suddenly speaking/understanding metaphors, for example. The plot was sort of intriguing but I thought kind of trashy too.

    Oh, I am not sure I like this book. A goodread
    Christine Jensen
    Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: High School

    Format: Chapter Book

    Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults (2010), ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2010)

    At the insistence of his father, Marcelo, a male adolescent with a condition resembling Asperger’s Syndrome, is forced to participate in the “real world” by working at his father’s law firm over the summer. The typical behaviors of autism, accompanied by atypical introspection and insight, leads Marcelo into the position of contempl
    Naban (hiatus)
    I loved Marcelo. The struggles he faced as a not so normal guy in the real world were truly touching. I can't say the same for other characters, the only likable character we actually get to know being Marcelo's co-worker Jasmine.

    There's nothing much to say about the plot of the book, given that it is what the title suggests. Marcelo in the real world, away from his comfort zone - how he struggles, makes mistakes and learns.

    One of of the many things I looked forward to in this book was the musi
    Mar 08, 2015 mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2015-favorites
    Εξ αρχής δεν είχα υψηλές προσδοκίες από το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο αφού ο λόγος που το πήρα για να το διαβάσω ήταν για να το ξεφορτωθώ από το ράφι των αδιάβαστων στο οποίο βρισκόταν εδώ και τρία χρόνια.Δεν είχα ιδέα ότι θα διάβαζα ένα υπέροχο συγκινητικό και τρυφερό μυθιστόρημα που θα με επηρέαζε τόσο βαθιά.
    Ο Μαρσέλο είναι ένα δεκαεφτάχρονο αγόρι που πάσχει από το σύνδρομο άσπεγκερ σε ήπια μορφή.Συνήθως μιλάει στο τρίτο ενικό πρόσωπο, δυσκολεύεται να κατανοήσει την μεταφορική χρήση της γλώσσας, προσ
    Marcelo, Marcelo…ufff…co já si s ním jen počtu? Už od začátku jsem věděla, že to nebude jen tak obyčejná knížka, kterou si přečtu, oblíbím a schovám do knihovničky. Od přečtení o ní neustále přemýšlím a snažím se ujasnit si své myšlenky o samotném Marcelovi, o knize, o jeho poslání, o všem, co s knihou souvisí, ale zatím se mi to vůbec nepovedlo. Tak co s ním mám jenom dělat?
    Marcelo ve skutečném světě je naprosto jedinečná a neobyčejná kniha, kterou by si měl každý přečíst. A pokud vám to nesta
    Feb 17, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
    Shelves: young-adult
    Marcelo in the Real World is the story of a teenager with Asperger's Syndrome who has spent his life attending a private school for kids with mental and physical disabilities. At the beginning of the book, we learn that Marcelo’s father wants him to spend a summer, and possibly next school year in “the real world” ~ working and interacting with people outside of his protected comfort zone. I’ve read so many good reviews and have been looking forward to this book for so long, that it is a huge di ...more
    T.V and Book Addict
    Sep 16, 2011 T.V and Book Addict rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: own
    Marcelo is a 17 year old guy who has an autistic-like condition, not necessarily Asperger's but similar. He can hear music in his mind, Internal Music (IM). It's like experiencing the feelings one gets when listening to music, except without the music. Marcelo's "special interest" is religion. He often sees his mother's best friend, a female rabbi even though he's Catholic, to talk about religion and life. Marcelo lives in a tree house, has a dog called Namu, short for Namu Amida Butsu, a Buddhi ...more
    Mar 11, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing
    Meet Marcelo Sandoval. Read his story. Witness first-hand the transition from dream world to real world.

    Marcelo has always been different. (He lives in a tree house, for example.) Lived in his own little world--not cut off from the world, by any means, but taking it in at his own pace, staying in his comfort zone, doing this much and no more. Marcelo has autism--Asberger's Syndrome to be exact. He's always chosen to attend a special school--Paterson--to be with children and teens who are differe
    Feb 26, 2010 Claudia added it
    Recommends it for: everyone. everywhere
    Recommended to Claudia by: I heard the author at Philly
    Shelves: ya-books
    "Her belief is in her deeds." I'm paraphrasing, but one of the characters says this about Marcelo's mother when he worries about her possible loss of faith. The more I thought about this line, the more I realized it applies to each character in this exquisite YA novel. Marcelo's father, the high-powered, self-made lawyer, wants to force Marcelo into the 'real world,' a place Marcelo, with his Aspergers, has been sheltered from...His father believes the 'real world' will toughen Marcelo, make him ...more
    Jabiz Raisdana
    Feb 22, 2015 Jabiz Raisdana rated it really liked it
    I really liked this. Perfect grade 8 book. Yes it deals with some sexual content, but in a mature and approachable way. The characters feel real, the plot moves at a nice pace and the language is accessible, while trying to be interesting. There are some interesting conflicts with ethics and family, as well as looking at religion and mental conditions. Highly recommend this one.
    Dec 05, 2009 Donalyn rated it it was amazing
    This was a touching story that defies categorization: part family story, part love story, part crime story. What will stick with me is the beauty of Marcelo's gentle spirit and his insightful interpretations of the "real world."
    Aug 14, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing
    Unique, important, insightful, amazing. I can't level enough praise on it. One of the best novels I've read in the last 5 years.
    "If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, you're bound to like this," I was told. Ok, a ya book with an autistic protag. But then it became a ya book with an autistic protag about sexual objectification. Then, a ya book with an autistic protag about negotiating religious beliefs against lived experience. And then, ya book with autistic protag negotiates right notes vs wrong notes, asexuality, loyalty, trash-talking demented farmers and their kin. And finally I give up and ...more
    Nov 30, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fiction
    Where I got the book: my local library.

    Marcelo is 17 and has Asperger Syndrome, which means he's on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He's smart, good-looking, and socially inept. His special interest (aspies generally have one) is religion. He hears his own internal music. All Marcelo wants to do is to stay at his private special school, where he's learned to like who he is and has developed an interest in training ponies. But his lawyer father wants Marcelo to go to the local pu
    Jul 23, 2011 Hallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: ya, audiobook
    Still digesting this a bit, but my general feeling is that there was a bit too much going on, though much of it was wonderful. The combination of a regular coming-of-age story with a 'Asperger's is the closest to a description of my condition' one with a romance with a legal-mystery with a spiritual coming-of-age was a lot for one book, and I thought it left some of the elements which were resolved wonderfully in one sphere very much less so in another. The spiritual and the regular coming-of-ag ...more
    Paula Guinto
    Wow. So many great things to say about this one. I loved its treatment of various topics- religion, intelligence, ethics, desire, "rules" we play by, love, understanding people, communication, safety, forgiveness, anger, sex and what it means to be kind. I want to meet Marcelo and wish the best for him. I want him to get the girl and live peacefully, "with waters green, quiet and deep..." in Vermont. I just remembered the TED talk about storycorps by Isay and couldn't help but see Sarah and Josh ...more
    Mar 24, 2014 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I'm almost done with this and I don't want it to end. I'm going to save the ending for another day. I don't want it to end. This book is delicious the way The Secret Life of Bees is delicious. It's delicious the way The Secret Garden is delicious. I love this book. I am so grateful that it threw itself at me when I was in the library. I don't want to say anything more about it because I don't want to spoil any delicious discovery and/or surprise for anyone who might be thinking of reading it. I' ...more
    I had swapped this on a sudden whim and now, now I am completely baffled by how much I loved reading it. I have to clean the appartment and bake a tart, but I am still sitting around in my pajamas because I was shortening and shortening the minimum amount of time I need to get things done - only because I did not want to put Marcelo aside. His story has - much to my surprise - turned out to be powerfully addicting. Don't you love these little wonders you come across as an unsuspecting reader? Al ...more

    Krásná, procítěna, poučná, otevřená kniha dotýkající se snad všech témat života… Taky jsem si díky ní na pár věcí udělala lepší názor...

    A jak už někdo psal ve své recenzi - kdyby bylo více tak „nemocných“ jako Marcelo, a bylo více takových mužů s jeho srdcem a hlavou… svět by vypadal docela jinak. Vím jistě, že se ke knížce v budoucnu ještě vrátím a jistojistě ji chci mít ve své knihovně :-)
    Sneha Srikanth
    Oct 17, 2015 Sneha Srikanth rated it liked it
    Really enjoyed reading this book, its always interesting to read about topics that I may not have a lot of knowledge on. The themes were quite interesting as it dealt with topics such as religion and family and as well as this I felt like I really got to know Marcelo throughout the book, I've mentioned before that I dislike books that have too many different personalities and don't give me time to connect with each one. In terms of this aspect I enjoyed reading it.

    Overall good book :)
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    Book Review #2 1 3 Sep 23, 2015 08:36PM  
    Wild Things: YA G...: April 2014- Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork 1 7 Apr 19, 2014 09:14AM  
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    Francisco X. Stork was born in Mexico. He moved to El Paso Texas with his adoptive father and mother when he was nine. He attended Spring Hill College, Harvard University and Columbia Law School. He worked as an attorney for thirty-three years before retiring in 2015. He is married and has two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. He loves to discover new books and authors. His favorite ...more
    More about Francisco X. Stork...

    Share This Book

    “Be in the world but not of the world.' The words are from Jesus. But I have not the slightest idea how to accomplish that or even if it's possible. The world will always poke you in the chest with its index finger.” 39 likes
    “That's what faith is, isn't it? Following the music when we don't hear it.” 34 likes
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