Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Review: A Friend Like Henry

Do you remember your first pet? Mine was a dog who was my best friend, tea party partner, and confider of childhood dreams. Though he never had to, I know that he would have saved me from any and all danger.

In the true life story, A Friend Like Henry, readers are welcomed into the world of Dale and the loving dog who truly saves him from the cage of Autism.

When the Gardners welcome home their newborn son, Dale, they have the optimism and dreams of all new parents. However, as the years pass and they realize that Dale is unlike other children, the Garnders face an unknown and scary diagnosis: Severe, Classical Autism. Even worse, they are told by "experts" their son will never be able to lead a normal life.

The author, Nuala Garnder, shares the frustration, challenges and fears she and her husband faced as they tried to keep their son from slipping further and further into his own world. Her open, honest account quickly draws the reader in and makes you feel like you are a family friend, sharing in all the defeats, but still hoping for a breakthrough to Dale's world. Her frank and beautiful story telling makes you want to laugh, cry, and empathize with her hourly challenges and defeats as she fights to get Dale the professional help they all need.

Hope, optimism and dreams are rekindled when a puppy comes into their lives. In the form of a golden retriever, Henry, the Garnders discover a way to slowly tear down the brick walls of Dale's Autistic cell. Henry's examples of unconditional love and patience save the entire family from the brink of despair by building a bridge between Dale's world and ours and making the impossible possible: for Dale to be a normal boy.

The worst is realized as Dale's little sister, Amy, also starts to show signs of Autism. Through the lessons from Henry, the Gardners are able to muster the strength to fight Autism head on yet again and with quick and early intervention, help to stop her deterioration into the unknown.

This book is a must read for everyone-beyond the story of parenting an autistic child-it is a story of hope and inspiration. Reading, A Friend Like Henry, makes you realize that miracles, no matter what others might say, are possible.

Would you like to read it? I loved the book so much that I am willing to give a copy to a lucky reader! See the rules at the bottom of this blog, leave a comment here or send me an email at:! The giveaway ends Oct. 1st and the winner will be contacted through email, so make sure I have a way to get in touch with you. Good Luck!

No comments: