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My Brother Sammy Hardcover – February 1, 1999

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-The narrator of this picture book longs for a brother who can talk to him, build towers with him, and join his friends at play. His autistic brother Sammy mimics his speech, knocks down his building blocks, and lies alone on the grass staring at the leaves on trees. When the older boy tries doing and seeing things Sammy's way, a special relationship develops between them. Somewhat indistinct watercolor illustrations, many double-paged, enhance the sensitive tone of the story. A good choice for sharing with children who have "special" siblings and for discussions on feelings.
Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

About the author: Becky Edwards is a teacher who has specialised in teaching autistic children. She lives in Chichester with her husband and two young children. About the illustrator: David Armitage has been working as an illustrator for almost thirty years. His most well known books are the Light House Keeper books which are published by Scholastic and have been in print for over twenty years. David lives in Sussex and divides his time between fine art, illustrating and publishing the schools magazine Aquilla. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761304398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761304395
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 10 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,762,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is obviously the work of someone who has experience with families of special needs children---it is warm, rich in language and provides insight in a very subjective way.
This book is not filled with the kind of sugar-coated, warm and fuzzy T. Berry Brazelton-esque didacticism that has Barney-fied the way we think children think. You experience frustration, confusion, and patient sensitivity from the child's perspective---Ms. Edwards is not afraid to show true emotions experienced by children.
It goes without saying that families with special needs children would enjoy this book, but it occurs to me that with the integration of special needs children into ordinary classroom settings that teachers would find this book a valuable part of the class reading collection.
We bought a few copies of this book...we lent one to a friend whose children have a sibling with special needs and we donated one to our local library.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My Brother Sammy explores the ambivilant feelings and actions of a child with a brother who has special needs. A beautifully illustrated, well written picturebook, it successfully deals with this complicated relationship. In a beautiful but simple way, it recognizes the difficulties a brother or sister might experience, while at the same time introducing the feelings of ambivilance, love and even real sacrifice. In doing so, it hightens reader sensitivity and encourages understanding.
Certainly My Brother Sammy will help families of children who have special needs, but it is very suitable for all families, with or without siblings who are special. To some degree every sibling has times when he or she disapproves or is embarrassed by the behavior of their brothers or sisters. This book should encourage discussion of those feelings.
I highly recommend this book as one worth owning.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Our daughter was diagnosed with Autism a couple of years ago and since then, it has hit our son the hardest. Only 16 months older than our daughter, our son has struggled with why his sister doesn't speak, why she goes to a different school and why she doesn't play the same.
'My Brother Sam' depicts a young boy who's younger brother, Sam, is afflicted with autism. I was so pleased with the way the author showed not only the full spectrum of emotions of Sam's older brother due to realistic events (which are the same kind of problems our son has had to deal with) but also spent the last half of the book telling ways the little boy was able to understand and cope with Sam's special needs and enter HIS world.
Autism affects hundreds of thousands of people and each year, it grows. If you or someone you know has a young child struggling to cope with his/her newly diagnosed sibling, this is an excellent book to start with!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By English Association English 4-11 on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Awarded the English Association's English 4-11 Award for the Best Children's Picture Books of 1999 - Key Stage 1 Fiction. Making a child who has special needs the focus of story in a way which respects their integrity as well as identifying qualities which are 'different' is essential to this book. Sammy is an autistic child. His brother plays out - but Sammy looks up to the sky and does not play as his brother does. There are differences between the brothers - and at first they are marked out simply as 'differences'. It is when Sammy knocks down his brother's tower made of wooden blocks that Sammy is neither different nor special. He is in the way - because he is different and does things differently. For children in schools today, where there is a policy of inclusion, this book offers a way of understanding what makes each child unique. Sammy is different and his playing is different. But it is when his Mother says "It's because he is special and likes to play in a different way" that children can begin to explore more of what Mother means and how supportive Mother is to Sammy and his brother. Making this connection helps children to develop their understanding both of themselves and of other children. This is a sensitively written book with illustrations which help the reader think about Sammy and his special needs. Children enjoy this story when it is shared with them and is used to talk about how they can help other children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I think it's important to emphasize that all children in the family are special, each in his/her own way. Explaining to siblings that the autistic child is "special" is one way that a parent can help brothers and sisters understand, accept and love. But in a household where autism can be so demanding of parents' attention, and where the autistic child is frequently the recipient of multiple in-home therapies (i.e., additional attention), the typically developing sibling needs to know that s/he is very special, too. I agree with the other reviewers that this is a sensitive and well written book but wish it had imparted that message. Many parents of autistic children try to teach that we all equal (and equally special), just different. When reading this book to my 4 year old to help him understand his little brother, I improvised and found ways to add that he is special, too.
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