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Alex: The Life of a Child Paperback – July 30, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank Deford is a six-time National Sportswriter of the Year, Senior Contributing Editor at Sports Illustrated, commentator on NPR's Morning Edition and a correspondent on the HBO show RealSports with Bryant Gumbel. In addition to being the author of more than a
dozen books, he has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters and has been awarded both an Emmy and a Peabody. Two of his books, Everybody's All-American and Alex: The Life of a Child, a memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis, have been made into movies. Sporting News describes Deford as "the most influential sports voice among members of the print media" and GQ simply calls him "the world's greatest sportswriter." Deford resides in Connecticut with his wife, Carol.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (July 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558535527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558535527
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
im a cf victim myself and i think alex was very brave she didnt let having cf get her down and tried to live a life as normal as possible after reading alex i have been able to cope better with my cf and understand it better i try to live as alex lived her life when i do my therapy every day i amuse myself by recalling alex's therapy sessions "not the down ones daddy!" oh i quite agree with alex that the down ones r totally the worse and i can really relate to this story and it makes me glad that someone is writing about cf and making people more aware of the disease
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I've never forgotten this book and have re-read it many times. Deford somehow manages to show how devasting cystic fibrosis was to his daughter, how it sapped her energy and stole so much normalcy from her life. At the same time, he shows how Alex Deford's spirit remained shining so much of the time, serving as an inspiration to those who loved her and who were forced to bear witness as the disease invaded her body. This book pierced my heart and soul and showed me the power of Alex's spirit - and the enduring love of her father. Few writers are as riveting to read as Frank Deford.
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I am perhaps overly sensitive, but there were very few chapters in this book that I managed to read without breaking down and sobbing. Being familiar with Deford's voice from his NPR commentaries makes it all the worse, because as I read it, I heard it narrated in his voice, which made it all the more personal.
I had some vague conception of cystic fibrosis before reading this, but no idea just how horrible it really is. The book is written in a very conversational style. Mr. Deford is to be commended for his openness about the full range of emotions he experienced throughout the nine years of his daughter's life.
The book is quite short, which turns out to be a mercy. It is one of the best books I have read, but I can't imagine having to read it again.
1 Comment 22 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I can't read this book without crying. Even writing this, I'm using two Kleenexes and a free hand.
Frank Deford has my utmost respect for having survived Alex's death. No parent who loses a child ever recovers; "healing" and "closure" are insipid terms that people who've never suffered that loss use to try to cope on behalf of friends or family. Truth is, more couples separate over the death of a child than stay together. Many parents withdraw into depression, or suicide, after the death of a child, especially a small one.
But instead of just surviving, which God knows he and his family were entitled to do, Frank Deford wrote this beautiful tribute to Alex. It is marvelous. Alex lives in this book, and when she dies there is a grace to Deford's prose that evokes the presence that used to be. A sweet, stubborn, keenly intelligent and high-spirited little girl, Alex is a surprise on every page. How could anyone have lived with a child that alert to her fate, and so determined to face it on her terms, and not gained strength from her?
I can't tell Alex's story better than her father did, so find the book and read it. If the death of a child saddens you, then remember: the book is not about her death, but her life and how she lived it.
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Format: Paperback
I first learned about Alex Deford in the ABC made-for-tv movie, and was immediately touched. Having always been a fan of Frank Deford's sports writing, I knew this book could be nothing less than sensational. And I was correct.
Alex Deford was a strong little girl that was stricken with a terrible disease, and eventually taken from this earth way too early. In this book, Deford recalls her inspiring story, as well as giving us a look into his own life. He is straightforward and ultimately candid about the trials and pains that young Alex had to endure. Through her remarkable story, we learn a great deal about her, and it forces us to look upon each of our own inner strengths.
The book flows really well, and Deford does an incredible job of mingling his own story into Alex's. I really enjoyed the way he included other children's letters and personal thoughts, and not correcting their spelling was a great touch.
This book was a joy to read. I thank Mr. Deford for opening my eyes to this horrible disease, and just allowing me to get to know Alex Deford and what she was all about. It was a true pleasure, and I urge all of you to please read this wonderful book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is so poignient, I must have cried at each and every chapter. Frank DeFord does a beautiful job paying tribute to his late daughter and conveying the struggle that cystic fibrosis put his family through. Along with explaining all of the technical aspects of the disease, he really opens up and tells readers exactly what it is like to have and live with a dying child. Throughout his book, I almost felt as though I were right there next to him, sharing his grief and anguish over his charming daughter's illness. This book reaffirmed my belief that childhood diseases must be cured - Alex was a special child who would have grown and done marvelous things in her life had she not been born with a deadly genetic disease. In my opinion, Frank DeFord's book is the finest ever written on cystic fibrosis.
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