March 1, 2010

The Wisdom of Sam

Sam is described as an Uncommon Child, not necessarily because he is on the autism spectrum,  but because of his one-liners.  The Wisdom of Sam  beckoned to me  because I have worked with several students with autism or  Asperger's.   Some of my friends have autistic children.   Sam is 8-years-old.  The author, Daniel Gottlieb,  is his grandfather who happens to be quadriplegic.

Sam's comments and questions about life, death, and things in between such as "Why do people have to get naked?" are the backbone of the book.  Gottlieb takes the backbone and fleshes it out with chapters about events in their lives.  We learn about Sam's first solo night away from home and Gottlieb's first train trip since his accident. 

Because I work in transition and career education, I especially liked the chapter "My Kind of Place."  Gottlieb says the question "what do you want to be when you grow up" is not the kind of question kids ask themselves.  He reminds us to stop what we're doing to experience our place.  Just be.

5 stars from me
Disclaimer: The publisher, Hay House, sent me the eBook galley for an honest review. I'm glad they did; I plan to read Letters to Sam.