A straightforward and uplifting story of helping others through earnest Christian faith.

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A burn unit doctor’s account of healing and transformation.

Fratianne, an emeritus professor of surgery at Case Western Reserve University and the founder of the burn center at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center, combines his experiences as a physician with his unfolding faith journey as a Christian in this debut, crafting a narrative that centers on the concept of personal development: “Most of us never fully know or appreciate the person we can become,” he writes. “We do not fully explore our potential; our gifts and our talents or our qualities as human beings.” Fratianne and his team, which he calls his “extended family,” have treated many patients with pain and long-term trauma from serious burn injuries. In some ways, he says, the most challenging injuries are those to a victim’s sense of self. He notes how patients with scarred skin or deformed features felt afraid that they would be objects of pity or ridicule when they rejoined society. The stress of dealing with this brought Fratianne to the edge of quitting his job, but at this point in his story, he recounts a personal spiritual awakening—a sense that God was urging him to love his patients despite the enormity of their needs. His first response to God, he writes, was “I can’t. I can’t. They need too much; much more than I can give.” The author employs a highly effective blend of autobiography and spiritual manifesto in these pages, revealing how transforming the lives of others became possible by using what he calls the “supernatural gifts” of faith, hope, and love. The religious elements of the memoir are skillfully interwoven with stories of the impressive achievements of the burn unit; specifically, he tells how the team worked wonders by always treating patients as beautiful people and by affirming every bit of progress that they made in their arduous journeys back to their everyday lives. Fratianne’s own health scare at the book’s climax only underscores the lessons that he so touchingly conveys throughout.

A straightforward and uplifting story of helping others through earnest Christian faith.

Pub Date: June 3, 2003

ISBN: 978-1-59299-018-4

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Franklin Street Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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