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Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordi nary Son Paperback – September 6, 2011
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“A heart- and mind-altering experience for the author and an unexpectedly uplifting experience for the reader.”
A “charming memoir....illustrating how ordinary families can persevere and thrive with love and patience.”
A “sweet, funny memoir . . . an uplifting book…highly recommended.”
“Not the average medical memoir...nor does it trace a common tragedy-to-triumph trajectory; the author strongly emphasizes supporting Ezra himself over the condition….Determinedly upbeat, the author depicts parenting with grace and every child as a gift.”
"Following Ezra is a revelation. I could not put it down. This inspiring memoir of a father raising (and being raised by) his autistic son is a great lesson about patience and the blessings that can come when we let our unique children lead us."
--Rabbi Naomi Levy, author of To Begin Again and Hope Will Find You
"A riveting account of raising one special boy, Following Ezra is a powerful story for parents of any child. This inspiring book shows us that seeing meaning and depth in our children's idiosyncrasies is crucial to raising strong, secure and resilient kids. Tom Fields-Meyer has written a beautiful, funny, tender book."
--Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys
"Anyone who is raising a child with special needs should read Following Ezra. It shows how warmth and humor--yes, humor--can help not just the child, but the family, more than most of us could ever imagine."
--James Patterson, New York Times bestselling author
"The moving, fascinating story of a father's journey toward understanding and hope."
--Daniel Tammet, New York Times bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day
"Following Ezra is an unsentimental, beautifully written memoir about a boy whose limitations and gifts are as extraordinary as his impact on the reader's life. Like Ezra himself, this book is by turns funny, painful, poignant and scrupulously honest."
--Rabbi David J. Wolpe, author of Why Faith Matters
"I trust the parent who yields to wonder and celebrates the unexpected. Love is the river that runs through this book. Dignity and grace light each page."
--Beth Kephart, National Book Award finalist for A Slant of Sun, and author of Undercover
"When Tom Fields-Meyer's son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, the author decided to forego mourning for the child who might have been, and concentrate instead on the delightful kid he had. Following Ezra is at once a meticulous description of what it is to parent a child who has autism, and a salute to the kid whose mind takes both of them to mysterious, profound, and silly places we so-called typical adults can scarcely imagine."
--Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life, and grandmother of a child with autism
About the Author
Tom Fields-Meyer is an author and journalist. A former senior writer for People, he has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. A native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Harvard, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their three sons.
Top customer reviews
I have a son not just like Ezra, but not so different, and I feel like I've been waiting for years to read a book like this, because this book doesn't scare me, doesn't offend me, doesn't preach to me, doesn't pity me, doesn't patronize or judge or depress me. This book shows me that we are all unique, and parenting means watching your children blossom and enjoying the beauty of what makes them unique.
I love this book as much for what it leaves out as what it shares. I love the way the author respects his son's privacy even as he shares his personal experiences. I love the way the book lacks self-righteousness and cynicism. I love the way this book exudes happiness. I love Ezra, and I love Tom.
Over time, I have come to avoid "books about autism," but my book club chose this title. I am glad that they did. I would say that this book really is not about autism, though it's the best autism book I have read, among the dozen or so that have found their way into my home. As I see it, this is a book about parenting, love, life, surprises, children, diversity, and feeling at peace. This is about life. There are people who really need to read this book, and I will probably buy them copies.
The rest of my thoughts can be found on my blog, [...]
Following Ezra is a must read for anyone interested in parenting, grandparenting, children, or learning...not just for parents of special needs children. With deep feeling and skilled writing, the author teaches us that giving value to what is already there in a person and not trying to change or create what isn't there is the first step to successful parenting. With infinite patience and dogged tenacity, a loving father will not give up on his child. As he takes the reader on his journey, the reader comes to appreciate his "quirky" son, laughing out loud at some of his escapades, marveling at his memory and knowledge, respecting his ability to find his own way. I found this book to be moving, poignant, humorous, educational, inspiring, and most of all hopeful for all those who find challenge in the people they love.
Lois Shenker, author of Welcome to the Family