Marcelo In The Real World
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Marcelo In The Real World

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  11,128 ratings  ·  1,948 reviews
The paperback edition of one of the most acclaimed novels of the year -- a love story & legal drama that received five starred reviews and multiple honors.

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...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published March 1st 2009)
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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...more
Jun 02, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: ala
Shelves: ala-ya-2010, 2010, ya
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
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...more
Maggie Stiefvater
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...more
Mike Mullin
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...more
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...more
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...more
Sherrie Petersen
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...more
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...more
T.V and Book Addict
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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
Feb 26, 2010 Claudia added it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Marcelo has a form of autism (something resembling asberger's syndrome) that allows him to hear music that no one else can. His father is a top-shot lawyer at a large firm. Marcelo wants to spend his summer working at the stables with haflinger ponies, but his father says that he has to work in the mail room in the firm to learn how to act in the "real world." In the real world, saying the rosary in public is not normal.

Leaving his ponies behind, Marcelo becomes the assistant of Jasmine, the qui...more
There is a quote from this book that I really like:

"I deal with people like him a hundred times a day. They look at me and naturally assume I'm not as smart as they are. God help us. But think about it, it's a tremendous tactical advantage, not to mention personally liberating, to have others think I'm a dummy."

And I'm gonna tell you why I like it.

I don't hear very well. I mean, as in, I don't hear, at all, without my hearing aids. In 24 years of dealing with this, I've come to embrace my abilit...more
A problem I have when either reading an ebook (my autocorrect wants to change this to snook!) or listening to an audio book is that I have no real sense of where I am in the story. Is this conflict being introduced halfway through the story or is it near the end? It makes a difference. For me this is important info so I can try to figure out where the author is going, if he is going somewhere. With Marcelo, I kept thinking, okay now it's near the end but it never was. Okay, at some point it was...more
Nikki Finn
V první řadě mě nechte trošičku povznášet se nad krásnou obálkou. Líbila se mi už předtím, než jsem začala číst, když se mi prvně dostala do rukou, ale až po přečtení chápu onen "domeček" ve stromě a noční oblohu posetou milionem hvězd. Nádhera!

CooBoo opět přišlo s knihou, o které jsem neměla ani tušení, že existuje. Pro mne, opět, neznámý autor, který mne mile překvapil. Ruth, jeho matka, byla svobodná těhotná dívka, kterou otec poslal do kláštera, aby se nikdo nedozvěděl, že čeká dítě. Původně...more
Lindsey Kay
THIS BOOK. I don't even know where to start. It's been sitting on my "to read" stack for almost a year, and I feel so embarrassed that I didn't manage to read it sooner. There isn't a single word I would change in this book. It's the kind of book I dream of my books being. It's so sincere, so tense, so loving, so absolutely unique.

So the protagonist has something different about him that can't quite be surprised. He'll matter-of-factly say that his condition most resembles the symptoms associat...more
Originally posted at Book Harbinger.

Seventeen-year-old Marcelo Sandoval is different than most teenagers, and most people for that matter. He has a cognitive disorder similar to mild autism that allows him to hear “mental” music, or music that comes from within himself. Marcelo likes to call it internal music, or the IM. To no chagrin of his, the condition has kept him at the sheltered Paterson, a private school for kids with special needs. His mother Aurora has always been supportive of Marcelo...more
Nice! This was a good read. I really enjoyed Marcelo's summer in the real world, his growth and learning. It was a bit sad to have him learn the meaner sides of human behavior.
Marcelo's story is warm, heartening, funny, sad. His look at the world is honest, simple, plain and straightforward.
A quiet, simple story of truth and what lives inside oneself.
Barbara (VampAngel)
I LOVED this book. It's beautiful in a subtle way. It's gentle and subdued, but oh so deep. Goodness is it's message. Doing the right thing. Marcelo is special, and not because he has AS, but because he has the kindest soul I've probably ever read about. I had tears leaking out of my eyes at the end, but not because it was sad, but because it was just beautiful.

Also, it's way better than The Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I couldn't connect with the latter, but I sure connected deeply wi...more
This beautifully written book is published ya, but adults who enjoyed THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME will wonder if it isn't time for dual editions here as in Great Britain. Marcelo, a 17 year old with Asperger's syndrome, has been educated in a special private school but takes a summer mail room job at his father's law firm. He has a strong moral sense and discovers much more than his father wished during his time at the law firm. The author is able to convey Marcelo's way o...more
4.5 stars, very moving, heart-felt story told from the perspective of a teen boy with Asperger's, who is challenged by his father to stretch himself by working a summer job in the real world. There are some great descriptions, and I really liked the Rabbi, all of her thoughts in chapter 26 are fantastic. Marcelo's perception of the world is fascinating.

Keeping this one in mind for a potential focus on Asperger's for book club.
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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 works as an attorney with a state agency in Massachusetts that finances affordable housing. He is married and has two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter.
He loves to play tennis, go for walk...more
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“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.” 35 likes
“That's what faith is, isn't it? Following the music when we don't hear it.” 24 likes
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