Monday, December 28, 2009

THE BOY IN THE MOON by Ian Brown (2009)

I probably read close to 100 books/year, many memoirs, mysteries and novels and no book has moved me more than this one this past year. I put Ian Brown's memoir on my Grade 11 English reading list because of the connection to L'Arche ( a community established by Jean Vanier for adults with intellectual disabilities) where all of my students are spending an evening volunteering throughout this school year.

What is astonishing about this book is the honesty, directness, compassion and love that infuses it. Brown does not set himself up for a pity party as a parent of a profoundly disabled son. Instead, he has the humility and grace to write truthfully about the exhausting and infuriating challenges of raising a child who not only rages and self-abuses but also has the capacity for joy.

Your attitudes will be altered by The Boy in the Moon and your heart might just be opened to a radical way of thinking about disability.

1 comment:

allegra young said...

As I mentioned on Twitter, I completely agree. It's such a touching and honest book. Brown isn't just a father with an incredible story but also a writer and there were many moments where I was blown away by the language he used to help the reader understand his life. I really, really hope this book makes the top 10 list - I think it would inspire a lot of much needed conversation. One of the most thought provoking issues he brings up, in my opinion, is how society tries to integrate children with special needs, but sends adults with special needs to their own homes with others like them. Brown makes some really profound statements here, I find.