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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stories of Families, Love, and Loss

A Happy Story of Adoption

 Paul Jansen has written a joyous story of adoption, and he has written it as a read-aloud story. The Child in Our Hearts is a sweet story of parenting. Paul has created a story of love, and the illustrations of Kevin Scott Gierman,with their soft colors and gentle strokes, fit the bill perfectly.

A beginning sight reader would be thrilled to read this book back to his or her parents, and in time, a non-reader would use the context of the illustrations to begin reading along. This book definitely offers a positive family activity together.  Five Stars for this poignant book.




A Sad Story of Life Interrupted

Chris Tatevosian has written a sensitive  memoir, true to his life and to his discoveries, and to his determination to share his mistakes with the purpose of helping others to avoid the same. Life Interrupted: It's Not All About Me is a book that looks like a quick read, but in fact leads readers to stop and ponder the story behind the story.

This is the story of a young man's diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, his friendships, his loves, his challenges, mistakes and regrets. Chris shares openly his love and loss, and he credits that loss to the effects MS has had on his life. He refers to the "Poor Me Attitude" and its domination of his emotions and behaviors during the time of greatest MS fatigue; afternoons and evenings are most difficult for people with MS, and they are hours usually reserved for important family time. Chris found his strengths gone during those hours, and his weaknesses limiting his ability to be loving towards those he loved most, his wife and step-son. The resulting divorce: devastating.

Chris recognizes that MS is not the only chronic condition that can cause life-changing events. Any condition that causes physical pain and emotional loss has a depressing power over an individual's choices.  Chris wrote this book after realizing how his own choices may have been better controlled and could have resulted in very different outcomes in his life. His choice to share this story with others is purposeful. He wants to help others maintain control of their choices and happier outcomes. Five Stars for this honest, worthwhile tale. 
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