Review: What Color Is Monday? by Carrie Cariello

what color is mondayWhat Color is Monday?
written by Carrie Cariello
published by Riddle Brook Publishing

find it here (affiliate links): Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book:  I was asked by the publicist to review Ms. Cariello’s book. However, this was not a book that I was interested in reading at this time. So . . . I asked my sister-in-law, who is a behavior analyst, if she would be interested in reading What Color is Monday? and she said she would. (She received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

With that being said, I am pleased to introduce Every Free Chance Book Reviews’s new contributing reviewer, MELISSA!!!!! As I said, Melissa is my sister-in-law, lover of books, and a stay-at-home mom as well. I’m so excited that she will be doing some reviews for the blog in the future. So, without further ado, please welcome Melissa and her review!

Did Melissa enjoy this book: I did! I laughed out loud once or twice (and teared up a few times, too).  Cariello tells her story with confidence and class.

I found the first part of the book a bit tedious (mostly because I felt like I was getting briefed on a new case – I’m a behavior analyst and I’ve worked with people on the spectrum for years), but for people new to ASD, Cariello’s book is a great way to get a glimpse of life with autism.  She describes the endless doctor visits and therapy sessions with strength and humor, and although her writing sometimes feels a bit over-stylized, it’s hard not to fall in love with the entire Cariello family.
Several things will stick with me – Joe’s whispered counting during fireworks, Jack’s drawing of “Toilet” and “Underwear,”  the disastrous family swim lessons, and Cariello’s poignant letters to her children each year on their birthdays.  I’m impressed with her cognizance of the quiet, happy moments many of us rush right over, and I had to stop reading several times to go attack my ten month old with snuggles.
Blame it on my career choice if you like, but I cringed a bit each time Cariello tried to explain Jack’s behavior to strangers by labeling it as autism. After more than ten years in the field, I’ve come to understand that people who stare are going to stare whether you shout “autism” or not, and the people for whom it would make a difference don’t really care about labels.
I’ve certainly had my share of cringe-worthy moments (highlights include chasing a buck-naked six year old as he sprinted down the street and helping a mother carry her preschooler away from a museum train exhibit as he shouted, “Help! No! Help! Help Me!” at the top of his tiny voice).  Now that I’m a mother, I’m beginning to understand that it’s a bit more personal when it’s not just your client but your son making the scene, but I guess I wished that the Carrie who yelled at a blind man’s service dog would have made an appearance more often.

Would Melissa recommend it: Sure.  Even if you’re not interested in learning about autism, this is a great little book about a mother’s love for her family.  It’s a quick read, but a good one.

Will Melissa read it again: Probably not.  I rarely read books more than once, and I even stopped reading Ghandi’s biography halfway through because I wasn’t really enjoying it.  There are so many books in the universe I’ll never get to read due to sheer time constraints, so books that get a second read out of me really have to make my socks roll up and down.


About the book – from Goodreads: One day last fall Jack asked me, “What color do you see for Monday?” as I heaved a chicken into the oven. “What?” I said distractedly, turning from the oven to slice some potatoes at the counter. It was late afternoon, and I was preparing dinner while also managing the demands of homework and tired toddlers. “Do you see days as colors?”

Raising five children would be challenge enough for most parents, but when one of them has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the adventures become even more fascinating. In this moving–and often funny–memoir, author Carrie Cariello invites us to take a peek into exactly what it takes to get through each day with four boys and one girl, and shows us the beauty and wonder of a child who views the world through a different lens.

Carrie CarielloAbout the author: Carrie Cariello lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe, and their five children. She is a regular contributor to Autism Spectrum News and has been published in several local parenting magazines. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from Rockefeller College and an MBA from Canisius College in New York. She also blogs regularly about Jack and the Cariello clan at