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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fantasy Elucidates Autism

Title: There Are No Words
Author: Mary Calhoun Brown
ISBN: 978-09776300-2-8
Publisher: Lucky Press, LLC
Author's email: email@marycalhounbrown.com
Author's blog: http://blog.marycalhounbrown.com
Softcover $9.95
Hardcover: $22.00
Kindle: $4.95
Books available for purchase at the author's Web site. After Feb. 1, 2010, There Are No Words will be available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Reviewed by Dr. Ruth C. Sullivan, first President of the Autism Society of America.

This delightful and gentle fantasy is told in first person by Jaxon MacKenzie, a 12-year-old girl with autism. Mute and not in school, she lives with caring and good grandparents. She knows hurt when people outside the home sometimes speak down to her or say unkind things, as though she wasn't (sic) there.

In the house hangs an old oil painting in which a happy girl and boy are holding hands as they dance away from a large tree. One night the girl in the painting reaches out to Jaxon saying, 'come with us. We've been waiting for you.' Helped out to the 'other side of the painting' (as she calls it) by a spritely and happy Sarah, Jaxon begins to talk. She has new adventures, is touched by warm friendships and is moved by their acceptance of someone who is not like them. After some interesting--one dramatically tragic-- experiences-- she finds her way home.

Mary Calhoun Brown has given us an unusual path in getting to the story of autism. Young teenagers, their teachers and parents will be happy to have this one in their library.


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