MotherTalk Blog Book Tour, Day 2!

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Today I’m going to tell you a story about Kim Edwards, author of the phenomenal bestseller Memory Keeper’s Daughter.  About a year or so ago, a few of us at the Downsyn.com forum had the idea that it might be fun to discuss books about Down syndrome with people who had firsthand experience with the condition.  So with the help of the site’s creator, Tom, we set up a book club.

One of the very first books we read was Memory Keeper’s Daughter.  I thought it would be a great treat to have Kim Edwards participate in the discussion; my husband Tom (who has written 2 books) occassionally gets requests for such things, and he always enjoys them, so I knew it was a possibility. 

Kim Edwards has a public email address, so I wrote and asked her to be a part of the online forum. She agreed!  She read all the questions and comments, and wrote a detailed reply of her own.  One of the questions she answered was mine:  I asked how she created such a believable character in Phoebe, the child with Down syndrome.  I loved Kim’s reply: “I think being a parent myself was what I drew on most.”

As a way of saying thank you, I’d planned to give Kim one of Amy’s beautiful Down Syndrome Awareness bracelets (Amy blogs at The Flege Farm).  But Kim said no, nothing was necessary, it had been her pleasure.

A few months later, I got an email from Kim Edwards, saying she’d been in Amy’s home state for a book reading and a discussion, and that after the event, a woman from the audience gave her a gift–a silver bracelet with blue and yellow beads, and a particular symbol at the 21st bead, representing the trisomy of Down syndrome.  It was one of Amy’s bracelets! 

I don’t know who delivered this gift (neither does Amy), but that’s the sort of thing I’ve come to expect:  everyday miracles.

And now, on to the MotherTalk Blog Book Tour!  The winner in yesterday’s drawing (me to Tom: “Pick a number between 1 and 33?” Tom: “18!”) is Cate from I don’t know what to say.  I know Cate’s a reader and will put the $20 Amazon Gift Certificate to good use!  (And if you didn’t win this time, there will be another drawing today!  Just leave your name in the comments to be considered.)

 Today’s Reviews

Leah from Life As Lou touches upon the idea that too often reactions to parents with children with special needs are extreme–we’re either dismissed with embarrassment, or put upon a pedestal.  She realizes that neither reaction is helpful, because it only serves to alienate us from each other.  And I love what she says about “the beautiful paradigm shift that allows the reader to see Avery as a wonderful little person filled with his own possibility and promise for the future.”  If you can see a future for Avery, you can see a future for all our children.

Actual Unretouched Photo felt that she was drawn into the story of how Avery changed me and changed my family.  She writes, “If you are interested in mothering, children who have Down syndrome, love or any combination of the above, you’ll want to check out this book.”

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21 thoughts on “MotherTalk Blog Book Tour, Day 2!

  1. I got to listen to Kim speak at the NDSC conference in Kansas City this past summer. She is so genuine!! I am so honored that she has one of my bracelets!!!!!

  2. Heading over here from MotherTalk. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to review your book for them, but I’ve been reading the reviews. As a special ed teacher and a son with special needs I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book! I’ve already bookmarked your blog too!

  3. What a neat story that she ended up with the bracelet after all! I think Kim Edwards should do a sequal to the book – focusing on Phoebe and the relationship she has with her bio brother and mother… how things are when she comes back from Paris…I think it would be an interesting read!

    congrats to Cate!

  4. I bought your book today and am through the first chapter. Were you actually in my mind when I had my daughter, because I feel like you are describing me and my feelings upon learning my daughter had Down syndrome.

    Now a funny story. I went to B&N to pick up the book, and it wasn’t on the shelf. So I went to the counter and said

    “I see on the finder in the store that you have a book, but can’t find it on the shelf. It is called “Road Map To Holland?”

    She said, “Sure, I can help. So when are you going?”

    LOLOLOLOL….I explained the title a bit and why I wanted it, and she scampered off so fast and got it for me, you wouldn’t believe it!

    I can’t wait to read the rest of it.

  5. As a more contemporary take on Down syndrome today I thought you might be interested in a new film we have recently completed called “Strong Love, a film about Down syndrome. It shows how far the thinking about the possibilities are for those born with Down syndrome. We think Holly and Jon are testimony to the incredible potential we all have.

    It is playing on May 10th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC- Sprout Film Festival: http://www.gosprout.org/film/prog08.htm

    Strong Love is the story of world-class weight lifter Jon Shapiro and his childhood sweetheart Holly James, both of whom were born with Down syndrome. This documentary follows the couple over the course of three years, starting with their decision to get married. Their challenges, their triumphs, and their complex, sometimes surprising relationships with family and friends are at the heart of this inspiring film.

    A recent review from the Down Syndrome News:
    “Some scenes will make you cry, others will make you laugh. All in all, it’s a picture of life full of surprises, challenges and joy.”

    We have posted a short excerpt from the film of Holly and Jon practicing their wedding vows if you are interested in previewing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLFhP5olHvE

    Please contact us for more information.

    http://www.bonnieburt.com
    56 minutes
    2007

    STRONG LOVE

    A film by Bonnie Burt

    “Strong Love” tells the story of what happens when a world-class weight lifter and his childhood sweetheart — both born with Down syndrome — decide to marry.

  6. Just wanted to stop by and tell you I picked up my copy yesterday! I even took a picture of the book on the shelf. 🙂 Can’t wait to dig into it!

  7. Just opened a package from Amazon and was greeted by the beautiful front cover of your book. The photo of you and Avery is beautiful. Can’t wait to start reading….of course, I’m afraid it may get the tears going so I think I will wait until tonight after kids are in bed.

  8. I remember when Kim Edwards participated in the discussion and how much time she took to answer the questions. It was such a neat thing!

    How cool a bracelet made it’s way to her 🙂

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