Sunday, November 13, 2011
Books, Books, WONDERFUL Books: Review of 'How David Met Sarah' by Anne Kelleher
HOW DAVID MET SARAH by Anne Kelleher
Publisher: eFitzgerald electronic publishing (September 17, 2011)
Our regular followers know I am a huge supporter of books that not only teach us something about situations or individuals we don't normally take the time to but also help us see the world through someone else's perspective. The only way to truly understand another person is to be willing to widen our view in that way. And the book we'll be talking about today does exactly that.
On Thursday, we had a brief chat with author Anne Kelleher about her wonderful fiction book, How David Met Sarah. I had the pleasure of reading this book and strongly felt that it deserves to have the spotlight shone on it for so many reasons. This book had me cheering, laughing and tearing up and most importantly, it allowed me to see how the world works through the eyes of a person living with Downs Syndrome.
David is a regular person, living a regular life in many ways. He loves his family very much. He has a good job and wonderful friends. He lives his life to the fullest each and every day. We could learn alot from David, actually. The unique thing about David is that he lives with Downs Syndrome. He is 26-years old but intellectually is much younger. He seems to function very well with structure, organization and a solid routine. Then he meets a sweet girl named Sarah and his world is turned around...but in a good way.
This book does several things. First, it gives us a very real perspective of how the world seems to a person living with Downs Syndrome. We don't just see the struggles they have, and for some folks these can be many, Anne also weaves in all the good. Many of us make snap judgments about this group of individuals but none of us truly understands unless we live with or are raising them. They are very capable of functioning in the world with the right tools, guidance and understanding. I appreciated going through David's days and seeing how he interacts with others and how they interact with him.
It gives us a sweet romance, which I loved.
And, most importantly, I loved the way Anne told this story. In our chat, she mentioned that she wrote this book with her brother in mind. He is in his thirties but is intellectually at a Grade Three level. He's an adult but doesn't always 'get' the adult fiction books nor can he relate to what he reads at his reading level. So Anne wrote a book that is written simply with characters close to his age in situations he could understand. Anne in no way 'dummied down' the story, though. She just took out all the overly flashy, showy, flowery things many authors are often guilty of adding to their stories and gave us the skeleton story, which was beautiful. (I think many authors can learn from this writing style - simple is often the best route!)
This is the first book in a series of books and the reader will get to have a sneak peek into the next book called, "When David Was Surprised". And the real David, Anne's brother, wrote his thoughts about the book too.
I enjoyed this book very much and know it will do well. I'd even let Jaimie read this book as I know she'd be able to relate to David in many ways. She knows what it's like to be a little bit different. She understands how important it is to rely on her 'sensory cool tools' to get her through her day. And she knows that in order to help others understand her, she needs to be out there showing people all the things she can do despite any hurdles she faces. That's how acceptance is reached.
If you get the chance, check out How David Met Sarah. And be sure to go to Anne's WEBSITE to learn more about her books, her series about David and her other work. Thank you, Anne, for this wonderful gift. I look forward to reading more about David and his adventures.