Books by Judy Schwarz

Released: April 17, 1992

Case histories—mostly success stories—about people with stubborn learning disabilities, taken from the files of the Another Door to Learning clinic of Tacoma, Washington. The clients introduced here are fascinating. Lucille, 40 years old with grown children, not only had never learned to read, she had never internalized the basic rules of grammar that most children pick up before age two. Her speech was virtually unintelligible. The clinic, where Schwarz is co-director, helped Lucille to speak and to read, using large colorful shapes to represent the parts of speech. Teenaged Liffy, highly verbal, had a chromosomal abnormality that put math beyond her—but, at the clinic, she learned to verbalize math problems and hence to solve them. Schwarz captures her subjects' struggles movingly—including the shame that many nonreaders feel—but fails when it comes to explaining their successes. Almost invariably, she skims over or lapses into educational shorthand when explaining what clients actually experience and how the clinic helps them. And Schwarz also exhibits an irritating tendency to re-create, in often self- conscious idiom, conversations that she or her teachers could not possibly have been privy to. The education professional may find helpful hints here, and the lay reader will enjoy the personalities, but neither will be wholly satisfied. (Illustrated with uninspired woodcuts.) Read full book review >