11 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

(Book) Schuyler’s Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson

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My book club read this last month. I remember when I first heard about this book I was intrigued enough that I went to look up information about it before I purchased it. I found the blog, the website and the author’s social sites and all kinds of things (and felt like a total stalker, but it’s a very interesting story). The author lived here in Austin for a time, I was excited as I like to read about how people perceive areas that I’ve lived in myself. It’s always interesting to see how differently people think of an area.

So, armed with all kinds of info, off I go to my local bookstore to get a copy of the book, to prove that the world is smaller than we think, the person that helped me knew exactly the book I was looking for. Apparently, the author’s wife worked at that store for a time. Interesting. Anyway, it was in the special education section, I really think it was put in the wrong place and should have been in the Memoirs, but I digress… about the book…

The story is heartwarming, sad, joyful, happy, inspiring and beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hug the dad, the mom or the kid. The story is told, obviously, by the father, and he is not only a wonderful writer, but seems to be a lovely person. He had me by page 8 when he proclaimed, “Michigan is founded by masochists, and probably not the fun kind, either.” For whatever reason I found that hilarious. In fact, his writing style is very witty, with a bit of an edge to it. He’s a huge smart ass (takes one to know one!) and he doesn’t mind if you know that about him.

There are parts of the book that seem a little like he’s complaining, whining, but most of that was about the school issues, and I’m with him there. You have to fight for your kid, no one else is going to. The love that flows from the pages of this book is mesmerizing. I laughed a lot, I might have cried a little, but it’s a beautifully told story. The best part? I don’t know have to wonder what happened next, he seems to keep that blog updated. I do hope he’ll write another story as Schuyler gets older. There are so many other things that will be interesting – how will she (and he *laugh*) handle dating, for instance?

When I finished reading this, I had a little smile on my face. His daughter sounds like a wonderful little girl and he is a lucky man to call himself her father.

Read this one. Don’t miss it.

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Synopsis

When Schuyler Rummel-Hudson was eighteen months old, a question about her lack of speech by her pediatrician set in motion a journey that continues today. When she was diagnosed with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (an extremely rare neurological disorder), her parents were given a name for the monster that had been stalking them from doctor to doctor, and from despair to hope, and back again.

Once they knew why Schuyler couldn’t speak, they needed to determine how to help her learn. They took on educators and society to give their beautiful daughter a voice, and in the process learned a thing or two about fearlessness, tenacity, and joy.

More than a memoir of a parent dealing with his child’s disability, Schuyler’s Monster is a tale of a little girl who silently teaches a man filled with self-doubt how to be the father she needs.

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