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One Kid's Extraordinary Journey
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Praised by R.J. Palacio as "wondrous"—this moving memoir follows a teenage boy with TC syndrome and his exceptional family from diagnosis at birth to now. "This touching memoir is a must-read for...
Praised by R.J. Palacio as "wondrous"—this moving memoir follows a teenage boy with TC syndrome and his exceptional family from diagnosis at birth to now. "This touching memoir is a must-read for...
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  • Praised by R.J. Palacio as "wondrous"—this moving memoir follows a teenage boy with TC syndrome and his exceptional family from diagnosis at birth to now.
    "This touching memoir is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the real-world experiences of a child with craniofacial differences and his extraordinary family. It's also more than that. It's a story about the love between a mother and a son, a child and his family, and the breadth of friends, helpers, and doctors that step in when the unexpected happens. It's a story that will make young readers reevaluate the word 'normal'—not only as it applies to others, but to themselves. Any book that can do that is pretty wondrous, as far as I'm concerned." —R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder

    In this uplifting and humorous memoir brimming with black-and-white comic illustrations, Nathaniel and his mother, Magda, tell the story of his growing up with the same craniofacial syndrome as the boy from Wonder—from facing sixty-seven surgeries before the age of fifteen, to making friends, moving across the country, and persevering through hardships. How they tackle extraordinary circumstances with love and resilience is a true testament to Nathaniel and Magda's extraordinary family, and to families everywhere who quietly but courageously persist.

About the Author-

  • Magdalena M. and Nathaniel Newman live in Seattle, Washington, together with the rest of the family—dad, brother, and four dogs.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 11, 2019
    In this touching debut, Newman relays the story of her teenage son, Nathaniel, who was born with Treachers Collins syndrome—a craniofacial condition characterized by undeveloped cheekbones and ears and severe respiratory problems. After an uneventful pregnancy, Newman and her husband, Russell, were excited to meet their new baby, but when he was delivered, the room went silent and Newman saw “every single person’s face change to the same mask of pure shock.” From that moment, normal took on a new meaning: Would Nathaniel be able to eat without the aid of a gastrointestinal tube? Would he be able to hear without ears? Treachers Collins Syndrome meant constant medical care and multiple surgeries to allow Nathaniel to breathe, as well as a major surgery to expand his face that required him to wear a “halo” with 16 screws mounted to his head. Nathaniel endured 67 surgeries before age 15; during this time, Newman battled two different types of lymphoma. Newman writes tenderly about these often heartbreaking events as her family, medical professionals, and friends all worked to support Nathaniel on his road to “normal.” Readers looking for an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit will find one here.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2019
    Nathaniel Newman and his mother, Magda, recount how Nathaniel's Treacher Collins syndrome has affected their family. In alternating passages, the authors relate how, after being born with severe craniofacial deformities affecting his hearing, eating, and breathing, Nathaniel underwent "sixty-plus" surgeries before age 16. Along the way, he and his family faced kids' curiosity and adults' insensitivity. Magda's poignant, sometimes absurdly humorous endeavors to raise Nathaniel and his little brother, Jacob, as normally as possible emphasize how Nathaniel's disability shaped their family; siblings of kids with disabilities will sympathize when Magda describes how Jacob's needs came second. Nathaniel is witty and matter-of-fact about his condition, concluding that "it would have been easier to be born 'normal, ' but far less cool." Throughout the book's second half, the authors discuss how R.J. Palacio's book Wonder (2012) encouraged empathy for kids with craniofacial and other differences, and fans of the movie will appreciate thought-provoking peeks behind the scenes. Despite being dubbed "Auggie Pullman come to life," Nathaniel abundantly shows that he's his own multifaceted person. Flashbacks to Magda's childhood in Poland emphasize the importance of family and imagination in tough times. Though their story sometimes feels disjointed or overstuffed, its breadth reflects their personally extraordinary but emotionally universal journey. As Nathaniel observes, "I'm not normal, and neither are you." Swaab's full-page cartoon-style drawings introduce each chapter. The Newmans present white. Magda is Catholic; her husband and sons are Jewish. Funny, compassionate, and thoughtful. (Memoir. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2020

    Gr 5 Up-Nathaniel Newman went swimming "normally" for the first time when he was 13 years old. He could put his head under the water and not worry about water flooding his trach (a breathing tube). Nathaniel was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome and needed a tracheostomy to breathe. When he was 12, he decided to undergo a yearlong process (a massive surgery and countless additional procedures, including wearing a cage around his head for six months) to enable him to breathe without a tube. The surgery was successful. Treacher Collins is the syndrome that the fictional character Auggie has in R.J. Palacio's Wonder, and Nathaniel's photo, hanging on the wall at the Center for Craniofacial Care at NYU Langone Hospital, was the author's inspiration for the character. Nathaniel and his family spent time on the set for the movie adaptation of Wonder and provided insight for the actors. Nathaniel and his mother have written a powerful and honest memoir together; chapters are narrated by both of them in alternating sections. Nathaniel describes his multiple surgeries, relays his love of superheroes, and captures his very typical relationship with his younger brother while his mother shares the realities of parenting a child with very complex medical needs. VERDICT Recommended for middle school libraries. Nathaniel and his mother tell a compelling story, but when coupled with additional information about the much-beloved book Wonder (and the movie), this title is sure to fly off the shelves.-Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2019
    Grades 4-8 In her break-out novel, Wonder (2012), R. J. Palacio helped readers understand Treacher Collins syndrome through the character of Auggie and created a movement of kindness towards individuals with disabilities. But before Auggie existed, real-life Nathaniel Newman was born with a severe case of Treacher Collins, requiring a tracheotomy to breathe, hearing aids, and more than 60 surgeries before turning 16. In this frank yet always hopeful memoir, illustrated with expressive black-line drawings, teenaged Nathaniel and his mom alternate perspectives on life with this syndrome. Their conversational narratives recount Nathaniel's baby and childhood milestones, the ups and downs of his surgeries, his transition to school, and the range of strangers' reactions, from rudely staring to making fast friends. At its heart, as the title suggests, is what it means to be normal. Wonder fans will also welcome such connections as Nathaniel's working relationship with Palacio and how his image inspired the physical appearance of the movie version of Auggie. Nathaniel's story will inspire all children to celebrate their differences.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • DOGO Books pinkcat3 - Great book!

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