An expressive, nostalgic series of memories of living life with a special needs child.

AN UNCOMPLICATED LIFE

A FATHER'S MEMOIR OF HIS EXCEPTIONAL DAUGHTER

A memoir of life with a Down syndrome child.

Having a child with Down syndrome was not what Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist Daugherty (Fair Game, 1999, etc.) and his wife expected when Kerry went into labor. But they were determined not to let their daughter's condition change the way they treated her; they would address her special needs and yet not coddle her to the point of neediness. And they quickly learned that their daughter did not want to be coddled, either. Covering the time of her birth and into adulthood, the author brings readers the highlights of Jillian's life and the truths he discovered about being a father of a special needs child, as well as about himself and the childhood that shaped him to be the man he is today. Small moments, like teaching Jillian to ride a bike, became bigger moments of letting go, both physically and mentally, which have allowed Jillian to live her life to the best of her ability. Through little scenarios, Daugherty introduces readers to the numerous people who have helped Jillian along her path: the therapist who helped her speech by teaching her how to use pronouns correctly; the teacher who realized Jillian was an individual, not just a special needs kid; Jillian's brother, Kelly, who always made sure Jillian knew she was loved; and many others. "Having a child with a disability is like having a life coach you didn't ask for,” writes the author. “You realize that perspective is a blessing that's available to anyone who seeks it. Or had it forced upon him." Through Jillian’s story, readers witness the wonder of a father deeply devoted to his daughter and who says, "I just love my life."

An expressive, nostalgic series of memories of living life with a special needs child.

Pub Date: March 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-235994-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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