Square Me, Round World: Stories of growing up in a world not built for you, Chelsea Luker (author), Eliza Fricker (illus.), Connect Us Psychology, 2024.

Throughout April is World Autism Awareness Month, which raises understanding, acceptance and support for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Campaigns such as this, like Neurodiversity Celebration Week, help to raise awareness and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences, while at the same time celebrate the diverse ways of thinking, learning and behaving.

It’s a privilege to read and review Chelsea Luker’s Square Me, Round World, as a valuable and highly recommended resource for individuals in the neuro-affirming space and their connections.


Ever felt like a square peg in a round hole? Like you just didn’t fit in, no matter what you tried? Dive into tales of growing up in a world not built for you. From the challenges of making friends and masking your authentic self to the overwhelm of sensory overload, burnout and restless nights, these stories will resonate with those who know what it’s like to feel different.


Just to reiterate the above, this is a book that elicits a deep resonance for many individuals, on many different levels. Square Me, Round World is a perfectly formed creation with just the right angles, well-rounded perspectives and completely 3-dimensional characters that will certainly allow readers to see themselves in, or at least, someone they know. For junior to middle grade readers, these seven short stories (and a discussion guide) are written and illustrated in such an easily accessible, friendly and inclusive manner that they will be enjoyed over and over again.

Psychologist, author and mum to neurodivergent children, Chelsea Luker, draws upon her own life experience as an Autistic / ADHDer herself, showing a credible example of the kinds of thought processes, behaviours and sensory challenges that we see in the book. The stories are suitably reflective of neurodiverse children trying to ‘fit in’ when the world around them has pre-defined social, emotional and academic ‘rules’. Not only that, but the tales also incorporate practical yet non-didactic strategies and suggestions for both the individual and their caregivers on suitable management techniques for a more inclusive approach. Square Me, Round World can honestly attribute its success to the notion of its authenticity, resonance and sensitivity, rather than simply being another factual text on the subject matter that claims ‘this is what ‘different’ is’.

Each of the stories introduce us to a new main character navigating a different aspect of living in a ‘world not built for them’. In ‘Feeling Different‘, Oliver is excited to bring his pet dragon, Sophia, to ‘Bring your pet to school day’. His hands dance. His tummy jumps. His toes tap. Until he realises that Sophia is *very* different to everyone else’s pets, and so is Oliver – he is different to the other kids in the class. Oliver doesn’t always understand his friend’s jokes, or the teacher’s instructions, and he can’t always keep still in his seat. But, like the other stories and the other characters in the book, Oliver comes to realise that “different was not bad. Different was not less. It was just different.” Sometimes, if not always, different is brilliant, and this book gives its readers permission to realise that they are brilliant, like the sparkly stars in Chelsea’s dedication. All you need is to find the world that fits best, and other sparkly stars that shine and transform like you.

With the combined playful and heartfelt narrative of Chelsea’s text, Eliza Fricker brings another level of energy, expression and multi-dimensional diversity through her delightful hand-drawn, two-toned illustrations. She ‘brilliantly’ captures the various contexts and associated emotions the characters are navigating in what seems like an ‘unconventional’ world – to them. I love the added pictorial details that support the text, and the flock of owls are especially cute!

The imaginative and eye-opening collection of stories found in Square Me, Round World provide readers with insightful and empowering ways to both acknowledge and embrace differences, but also to draw on their own strengths, tackle challenges, make genuine connections and appreciate their own and others’ authentic selves. This incredibly valuable resource is just the exact neuro-affirmation all the shapes of the world need for a more inclusive and understanding society.

Highly recommended for all school, library and specialist settings.

Review by Romi Sharp.

Find Chelsea Luker at her website: connectuspsychology.com | Facebook | Instagram

For Autism Awareness Month in April, 10% of sales from #SquareMeRoundWorld will be donated to the Yellow Ladybugs organisation to continue their work in connecting autistic girls, women, and gender diverse individuals, and shining a positive light and breaking down misconceptions, striving for a community that understands and celebrates neurodiversity.

Square Me, Round World #BOOKGIVEAWAY!

“To all the sparkly stars who feel like they have to squash themselves to fit in… this book is for you!”

Find details HERE on how to enter to WIN a SIGNED COPY of Square Me, Round World by Chelsea Luker and Eliza Fricker.

*Closing April 30, 2024. Australian residents only. Entry and winning announcement made via social media.

Join in this multi-dimensional adventure with Chelsea Luker and Eliza Fricker and their valuable resource with Square Me, Round World, embracing all shapes of readers across the blogosphere!

#squaremeroundworld #autismadhd #inclusion #acceptance #selflove #middlegrade #justkidslit

For book marketing enquiries please contact info.booksontour@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: