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Alex: The Life of a Child Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1558535527 ISBN-10: 1558535527 Edition: 1st

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Alex: The Life of a Child + Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558535527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558535527
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank Deford is a sportswriter and sportscaster whose work appears in Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. He is also a regular commentator on NPR and ESPN. He has published works of fiction, written movie screenplays and won an Emmy and a Cable Ace award. And he has served for over 10 years as the chairman emeritus of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I first read this book after seeing the television movie, 17 years ago!
Joanna
I would like to thank the brave Mr. Frank Deford for sharing (in a sense) this one of a kind, painfull story.
Touched by her stringth. in CA
For all of you out there read the book it will definitely change your life.
thumbs1193@aol.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By carrie on April 12, 2005
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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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huffstedtler VINE VOICE on June 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kris Dotto on May 1, 2001
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chad Spivak on October 30, 2000
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Phillips on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This story touched my heart. It made me laugh and it made me cry, not just for Alex, but for my own child who also has this terrible disease.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Spot on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Frank Deford lovingly recounts the brief life of his precious daughter, Alex as she battles Cystic Fibrosis. Not only is this a loving biography of a child, it gives a perspective of what it is like to have a child with special medical needs, who ultimately dies. It isn't just the patient who must deal with the disease, but the whole family. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to those who either know a family who has a special needs child or who works with children in any capacity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Jolivette on January 13, 2000
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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