At home, Alex’s best friend is Kevin the cockapoo, although what he wants most of all is a friend at school. But that is harder than he ever expected. A touching story about learning that friendship isn’t one size fits all and is often found where you least expect it.

Everything is changing for 11-year-old Alex and, as an autistic person, change can be terrifying. With the first day of high school only a couple of months away, Alex is sure that having a friend by his side will help. So, he’s devised a plan – impress the kids at school by winning a trophy at the PAWS Dog Show with his trusty sidekick, Kevin. This should be a walk in the park . . . right?


Kate Foster is a children's author writing about friends, family, and dogs. Originally from a small town in the south east of England, she now lives on the stunning Gold Coast in Australia with her family and second-hand dogs. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching a wider understanding of autism and mental illness via positive approach and representation.


This story has such great heart with the underlying theme of the importance of quality relationships in Alex’s life. There are lovely moments throughout of the unconditional love and comfort of his pet dog, the kindness and understanding of some of his classmates and teachers, and the acceptance and friendship of a new neighbour. So, despite the challenges that autism presents for Alex, his family and friends, there is a focus on the positive attributes he has as a person, especially with the right support and understanding around him. I strongly recommend this book for anyone over the age of nine as a great fictional read that skilfully incorporates knowledge and understanding around the topic of autism.

CBCA: Reading Time

I loved its honest, perceptive portrayal of Alex, his challenges with autism and the story’s gentle and positive resolution. Wonderfully insightful, it will definitely strike a chord with confident, independent readers ages 9 and up and make for a satisfying read-aloud story for the classroom.


Filled with emotion and friendship, PAWS is a must read for all ages!

The Book Muse

PAWS is a touching story about neurodiversity and autism and what it is like for neurodiverse people navigating a world that isn’t created for them.

The Book Muse

From the first page, Paws draws you in to this amazing representation of what it is like at Alex’s point of the Austism Spectrum…

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