HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: My Brother Is Special: A Cerebral Palsy Story
Author and Illustrator: Murray Stenton
Publisher: Healing Press, 2017
Related website: http://www.LHPress.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 4 – 7
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Stenton, Murray. My Brother Is Special: A Cerebral Palsy Story (published in 2017 by Loving Healing Press, 5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105). Do you happen to know someone with cerebral palsy? Have you even heard of cerebral palsy? Ten year old Ethan is a big brother like no other. He was born with cerebral palsy. Life with a special need child has its fair share of challenges. Such challenges are not only for the parents, but extend to others in the family. My Brother Is Special shares some of his little brother’s thoughts, thus helping to shine some light on the difficulties and the job that siblings of special needs children experience every day. Are you aware that cerebral palsy is one of the most common congenital disorders of childhood and that there are three different types of the condition?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. We tend to think of people with conditions like CP as “handicapped” or “disabled.” While there are certainly challenges, as one website noted, “Though Cerebral Palsy can be defined, having Cerebral Palsy does not define the person that has the condition.” When we lived in Dayton, OH, we knew a young man with CP. Yes, his body was weak and he was confined to a wheelchair—but he was a computer whiz! This book, part of the “Growing With Love Series” from Loving Healing Press, will be especially helpful for family members and friends of those with CP. There is some additional information about CP in the back, with some helpful websites.
Author and illustrator Murray Stenton’s oldest son Ethan had a stroke at birth causing CP and other life altering conditions. Artistic from an early age, Murray, whose favorite pastime was and still is doodling cute and fun little characters, started looking for freelance illustration work and answered an ad, the result of which is that a well known children’s book author and disability advocate, Jewel Kats (now deceased) gave him a shot at illustrating one of her children’s books. With new found courage and the help of Loving Healing Press, Murray has brought this wonderful story to children everywhere with the hope that siblings of children with disabilities will know they too are not alone.