When a book grabs me and won’t let go until I finish it . . . now that’s a book I’m going to recommend – highly!
Before I tell you about Raising Benjamin Frog, I want to give you a little background.
I met Benjamin Collier at the Write Canada conference several years ago.
Benjamin struck me as quiet, shy, and reserved. Then I learned he is on the Autism Spectrum and I understood him a little better.
At last year’s conference, we had a wonderful talk right before the first plenary session. I treasured our interaction and was actually disappointed when the session started. That conversation was the highlight of the conference for me.
This year I was pleased to see Benjamin on the first day of Write Canada. However, he wasn’t staying. He was there to drop off his mom, Lynne. I had no idea she was also a writer.
When I saw her book, Raising Benjamin Frog, I thought about picking it up for a friend of mine who recently learned her son is also on the Autism Spectrum.
Even though I didn’t purchase the book during the conference, it seems I was supposed to have it.
On the last day, I was at the front doors of the conference centre when Lynne was headed out. She had a copy of her book right at the top of her suitcase and gladly signed it for me. (And surprise, surprise, I still had some cash in my wallet.)
I brought the book home – with the others I had purchased – and it sat in my living room for a couple of weeks until I decided that I wanted to read it before passing it along.
And am I so glad I did.
I began reading the book last Saturday and completed it on Sunday afternoon. I had no desire to read any other book during this time, and that’s rare because I always have several calling my name.
Yes, I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: Relationships are of prime importance to me.
As I read Raising Benjamin Frog, I felt that 1) I got to know Benjamin much better and 2) I had the opportunity to also get to know his mom.
The chapters are brief. As Lynne said, if you’re raising an autistic child, you won’t likely have time to sit down and read for long periods of time. (Even though I’m no longer raising any children, I still love books with short chapters. It’s so easy to justify “just one more chapter.”)
The chapters are very much a-day-in-the-life-of. They’re so personal and real. Lynne shares the challenges as well as the joys of raising her son. They include “Where do you go to, My Sunshine?”, “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra,” Evolution of a Writer,” “The Inquisition,” and “The Big Screen Years,” among several others.
Though this book isn’t technically perfect, Lynne’s heart is something many people will be able to relate to. Please note that any “technical imperfections” are far outshone by the quality of the story. I would highly recommend this book not only to parents of autistic children, but to anyone who wants to read a touching story about a mother and her much loved son.