Marcelo sees the world differently from most high school kids, so when he makes a deal with his dad to work in a law firm mail room over the summer, he doesn’t know what to expect. Marcelo’s form of autism makes it difficult for him to understand facial expressions, or to discern figurative meanings of words. He is brilliant, especially when it comes to religion, but he is sheltered, and the fact that he often needs to think things over thoroughly makes others think that he is less intelligent than he is. The law firm is a cutthroat world, and when Marcelo stumbles on a photograph he was never meant to see, it changes him and his perception of the world.
Marcelo in the Real World is a great story. Marcelo is a wonderful character with an authentic voice, and this is the story of him growing up, with all that entails: learning about adult relationships, pondering the complex ethics of business, seeing ones parents as flawed for the first time, and making friends and enemies. Marcelo is forced to make difficult choices, and along the way loses something he has always depended on.