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Monday, March 31, 2008

Roadmap to Holland (and a giveaway!)

When I found out Jennifer Graf Groneberg's book Road Map to Holland - How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years with Down Syndrome was on the Mother Talk Blog Tour I jumped at the opportunity to read and review her book. I've enjoyed reading Jennifer's blog and her stories on Mamazine and Literary Mama. If her words in those short stories could move me, I could only imagine how moved I would be by her book - and she didn't let me down!

For those who don't know Jennifer, she is mom to Carter, and twins Avery and Bennett. Her writing takes us through the twins' premature birth, NICU stay, and Avery's Down syndrome diagnosis in such vivid detail and emotion that you feel like you are right there with her along for the journey.

She explores her thoughts and feelings with such candor - dealing with your child's diagnosis - especially one you weren't expecting - is never easy. Jennifer shows how she worked through her family's new dynamics, trying to figure out what this meant for her and them, one day at a time.

Jennifer writes with such passion and honesty. She doesn't hold back or try to sugar coat her feelings and emotions. Reading her story brought me back to receiving Kayla's diagnosis and it made me realize how far I've come as well. I could identify with so much of what she wrote. I read the chapter when Avery had an evaluation for services and had to chuckle. I remember some of Kayla's evaluations and the questions "does she do this or that?" and I would think to myself - I didn't know she was supposed to be doing this or that or we would have been working on it. If I could just get a list of the questions for the next eval I'll know what to work on!

I think just about any parent dealing with a diagnosis for their child could identify with Jennifer's story, and that's what new parents need. A book just like this. A book that will be honest with the ups and downs, that will show other parents they aren't alone. A book that will make you say "I feel like that too!" A book that will make you realize the sadness and fear of the unknown won't last forever and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

This is an amazingly powerful story of love, hope, and motherhood. Anyone would enjoy this book -whether you're dealing with a diagnosis (Down syndrome, or otherwise) or not. It's a story that will touch you, and one you won't soon forget.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story and your heart. You'll touch more people than you'll realize.

I've seen this picture before and always thought what a striking picture it was. Jennifer's smile radiates pure joy. Then I read the back story and loved the picture even more. What a beautiful moment captured forever.


So are you intrigued enough to want to read the book yet? Well guess what?! I'm giving away a copy, and Jennifer has graciously donated 3 more books for me to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment (and make sure I have a way to contact you) and next Mon I'll announce the 4 lucky winners!


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82 comments:

camille said...

I'd love a copy of that book! If I win, you can email me at abcbrittain@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Killlashandra said...

Yes, I'd love to read her book. I agree her blogging and writing on various other community blogs is so wonderful. :) And I'm very excited her book has finally been released.

Christina said...

I would LOVE to win a book! My email is schu3262@aol.com :) Praying I win!

Type (little) a said...

I'm in! Thanks for having the giveway!!!

my email is type*little*a at g*mail dot com

(no stars)

Elizabeth said...

What a great review! I would love to read this book so I hope I win a copy, but I'm adding it to my wish list to buy if I don't win. Thank you!

amber said...

I would LOVE a copy of that book, Michelle. While our son more than likely doesn't have down syndrome, we are embarking on a long journey of genetic and neurological testing to figure out what he does have. I would love to read about the struggles and joys of having a child with special needs coming from another mother.

Shelley said...

Count me in! I'd LOVE to read Jennifer's book.

jennifergrafgroneberg said...

Michelle, thank you so much for your wonderful insights, and for your kind words about my book. You are one of the moms I admire and I couldn't love Kayla more if she was my own, so it means the world to me that you liked it.

Mama Mia said...

I would love to win her book! I have it in my wish list at amazon.com, but it would be nice to win it for my friend who has a daughter with DS too. I've been hinting that she should get a blog :-) But I've told her to read your's and a few others.

LauraJ said...

I never enter contests on blogs anymore because well I don't win them. And I feel out of place entering them and think that someone else should win the item more than me. However this time I am going to enter because from one special needs mom to another many of our stories are similar. Just the story about the cover photo brought me to tears and it was my nudge to try and win a copy of this book! (lauraj-dot-blog-at-gmail-dot-com)

rylie's mom said...

I heard about this book. I would love a chance to win! Thanks.

chelle said...

Beautiful story. I love that picture.

RK said...

Jennifer is pretty great, isn't she?!? And thanks for this, especially because I'd missed the backstory on the picture!

Corey~living and loving said...

oh man....that back story got me all teary.....thanks. tee hee
I'd love to win. thanks for entering me.

Shelley said...

I would love a copy! And I promise to pass it along to other families in our Ds group too :) email:shele337@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! Sign me up for the drawing please.

Lindsey
smith.lindseym@yahoo.com

Michelle said...

I'd love a copy! I can't wait to read it!

clbailey said...

This book sounds amazing, I would love to read it. The picture alone brought tears to my eyes, her son looks very much like my son.

Clbailey71@msn.com

clbailey said...

The picture on the book brought tears to my eyes, he looks just like my son. I feel that same joy she has on her face every time I look at me son!
I can be reached at clbailey71@msn.com

Me said...

I would love a copy of that book too! you know where to find me!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Me too, me too! :o)

Kacey Bode said...

I too am reading her book,(so I don't want to be in the running) It is such a good book and I too find myself thinking back to the days when Ella was first born. I love her book!!!

Mary said...

My daughter, Leah, was born with Down syndrome in January '07. I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I love it. I've spent the last few days reading through old posts. I've seen this book and often thought about getting it. After your review, I'd love to read it. Now, I'm going to check out Jennifer's blog!

Julie said...

I would love to read it. If I win you can e-mail me at jshoofly@atlanticbb.net. Thanks!!

Leslie said...

I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer's. She always takes the time to talk with you...and she is a very busy woman!

I haven't grabbed her book yet so please put me in the drawing! I cannot wait to read it.

Sandra said...

Michelle, that book sounds amazing :)

I would love to win a copy, please put me down for it :)

Hugs,
Sandra

Melody and Doug said...

Would love a book!

Debbie said...

Yes, you did intrigue me! I hope I win. If not, well, that's what amazon or the library is for!

crackerjacksMO said...

I would so love to win a copy of this book! I have various reasons for wanting to read it but I'd also love to share it with a very good friend of mine. I know she too would enjoy a read such as this. Thank you for your consideration!

I hope Lucas is doing well and Kayla too.

crackerjacks51603@yahoo.com

my--four--sons said...

Sounds like an amazing book. Count me in!

Dave and Rachel said...

Hope I am the winner, looks great, I will get it no matter what. By the way did you get my email about discovery toys? just let me know...no pressure to write back right away. Just wanted to know you got it. Thanks for doing the give away!
Rachel Baxter

Laura said...

WOW! It looks like everyone wants the book, I'm the 31st person to post...put my name in the drawing. This was a great idea!

Katrina said...

Oh I would love to read this book! Thanks for hosting this giveaway Michelle :)

Katrina (mom to Brant)

Becca said...

I would love a copy if you would consider me. You can reach me at r dot a dot k at comcast dot net.

Thank you!

Claudia said...

What a lovely review and a beautiful daughter you have! Roadmap to Holland is honestly one of the best books I've ever read in my life, and you're right -- ANYONE would love this book, all they have to be is human.

Paulette said...

I would love a copy as well. This is near to my heart.
Thanks Michelle it looks awesome.

Anonymous said...

Oh, could I also join? I'm from the Philippines and I'm sure the book is not available here. My son Raphael has been diagnosed with DS and he is now a very active, very manipulative, cute and smart one year old. My email address is chechechavez@hotmail.com.

Thanks and kisses to Kayla.

Cheche

Tara said...

I'd love to read her book! (Now I'm going to go check out her blog). My email is tararlittlejohn@yahoo.com

Thanks for sharing this book - if I don't win one I will have to buy me one!

Heather said...

I'd love to read this! I've been missing reading your blog, Michelle! Our router has been giving us a fit for over a month and we finally gave in and got a new one yesterday!

Anonymous said...

As a mom of 3, special ed. teacher and breast cancer survivor I would love a copy of the book. My email is mkjacquot@comcast.net

Thanks,

Mel

Kelly said...

Oh, yes please! Thanks for having this.

Miranda said...

I would love to win this book! She is an amazing writer.

Wow, it's been forever since I've commented on your blog. I do check in a few times a week though. I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and relax!! Lots of stuff going on here :) Shaylee is really keeping me on my toes.

Lucas is a cutie, and Kayla looks like she is taking well to being a big sister!!

Miranda said...

Ooops, forgot to add my e-mail

jsarbaugh138(at)comcast.net

jdkelly said...

I would love a copy
JoDee
josephin.kelly@sbcglobal.net

Denise Pequignot said...

Add me to the give away:) This looks like a wonderful book!
Denise
dpequignot@earthlink.net

YarnHacker K said...

This is a book I'd love to read and also pass on to my best friend, whose daughter was born 6 weeks before my own and who is dealing with her diagnosis of DS. I'm kristin@delatore.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. I have followed your blog for a long time. I have posted on T21 online and have a 2 year old son with DS. Both Kayla and Lucas are beautiful. Thanks to you and Jennifer for the giveaway.

Karen
kharris0025@kctcs.edu

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

me...me...oh pick me!!!!

Thanks Michelle!

Karly said...

I would love a copy of the book, Michelle, but it sounds like something I will read regardless. You know how to reach me. ;)

Nisa said...

Count me in. If I don't win it, I'll buy it somewhere!
love,
Nisa

Nisa said...

You should post your review on Amazon.com, too. No one has yet...

K.T. is Mommatude said...

Oh I would love to have that book!!!I have my email address on my profile...

Deb said...

Congrats on your beautiful little baby!vu

Ulli said...

I really would love to have that book.

Ulli

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing book! I'd love to read it. My email address is anb1122@live.com
Thanks,
Allie

Lianna said...

Please include our names into the draw! I would love to have a copy to read, but to also share with friends. When I first found out about Gabe having T21, I was 20 weeks pregnant. One book that really helped me through some tough times was Choosing Naia. The people who share these books with us, are angels. Truly. If it wasn't for Choosing Naia, I may have never lifted my eyes in optimism.

mom2noah said...

Please inlcude me in the drawing, I too would very much love to read Jennifer's book. It will be a gift that I will be sure to pay forward. Thanks you for taking the time to share some on your insights on Jennifer's book as well. I hope you and the tribe are all doing well. My email is mom2noah@verizon.net.

Emily said...

I'd love a copy! I will definitely read this book regardless, but I know some people I would love to give an extra copy to. If I win my email is emilyhamula@yahoo.com.

Every minute counts.... said...

I too would love to read this book! After I read it I would pass it on to the school that Abi does attend. They have a lending library and I have gotten some of the best books out of there stash!

Noel

Amanda said...

Count me in!! How awesome that she gave you so many copies to share with others! I've been waiting for this book to come out for awhile. :D

Kerry said...

I'm in!!

Anne said...

I'd love a copy.

Meredith said...

I'd love a copy!
mkp1982@hotmail.com

Meredith

amarlismum said...

I cant wait to read this book. I would love to win.

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for this book to come out. I think her story will be very similar to mine. My twins are nine months old (seven corrected) now and doing well. My daughter has DS (which was a surprise to us) and we too had a lengthy NICU stay (57days)! I'd love to read it!
On a personal note... Thank you for your Big Blueberry Eyes! My sister found it while we were still in the hospital and looking at pics of your sweet girl have really helped us in a most positive way!
ebandrychuk@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read her book. Looks great. I feel like we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with our little baby girl Emma who is 17 months. Email me at kevindunham@qwest.net. My name is Ginger and my blog is dunham7.blogspot.com . Sorry I was already signed in under my sons name and did not want to retype message so did it annoymous

Christina said...

ooooo I want to win!

I am over at Prince Vince!

Overwhelmed! said...

Fabulous! Throw my name in the hat, will you?

Do you want me to link up your giveaway in mymy April Pay It Forward Book Exchange post? I'd be happy to do so!

Kimberly said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know about the book! I would love to win it, but will be buying it DEFINITELY if I don't! My e-mail is Kam4hm@yahoo.com.

Thanks!

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Oh I would really love to read that book.. and then donate my copy to the school library!

Nora's human said...

What a great picture on the cover. It really captures the beauty of that moment in time.

Sounds like a great book too. I'm off to check out her blog.

Kris

Lin said...

I would love to read it!
Ygrainne at aol dot com

Sara said...

Oh Michelle, I want to get this book so bad...Can you put me in the contest....

Beth said...

I'd love a copy too! beth@gmail.com

Brent & Jodie said...

I'd LOVE to read it! Thanks for the giveaway, Michelle!

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

I got that book today in the mail....I cannot wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win a copy of the book!

I'm from Australia and have recently discovered the blogging world, although I'm yet to begin my own blog.

I'm continually amazed by reading your blog (and others) about the beautiful, inspirational children in the online DS community. I just adore how that extra chromosome is seen as a precious gift.

I get so moved reading the blogs about these wonderful little children. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your story (and Kayla's) with us.

Kind regards,
Allie
rhemyella@hotmail.com

Sue said...

Oh that sounds like an amazing book. I'd love to read it!

Michelle said...

Hi Michelle!!!
I can't wait to read it, so maybe I can win it! :) LOL!

Erin~~The Classy Rabbit~~ said...

Hi Michelle,

I would love to win this book. My son has Down's Syndrome and this sounds like a really good read!

Thank you!!

~Erin

AZmomto7 said...

I would love to read this new book (in my spare time) :o)

Thanks!
Kris
kkbl7befit@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Enter me, please. I haven't purchased the book yet, but I want to read it soon. Big fan of Jennifer's too. Rae
Raewelling@gmail.com