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Life with a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome (Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Series) Hardcover – June 25, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Life with a Superhero’s greatest strengths are the aesthetic value of the writing—it’s very lyrical and beautiful—and the uncommon perspective on parenting an older child with Down syndrome.”—Kathryn Soper, author, The Year My Son and I Were Born



“By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Kathryn Hulings’ debut book is a moving portrayal of family and community dedication and love.”—John Calderazzo, author, Rising Fire: Volcanoes and Our Inner Lives



"Candid, intimate, powerful, inspired and inspiring, Life with a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome is highly recommended reading for anyone having a Down Syndrome child in their family. Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, Life with a Superhero is a strongly recommended addition to public library collections for the benefit of their patrons and community at large."--Midwest Book Review

About the Author

KATHRYN U. HULINGS is a mother and writer who has called Fort Collins, Colorado, her home for over thirty years. She earned an MA in English/Creative Nonfiction from Colorado State University, where she is now an adjunct faculty member teaching composition and literature courses. She also works as an advocate for children with special needs and serves as a community volunteer.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Series (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574415247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574415247
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is at times laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, thought-provoking and uplifting. Setting aside Kathryn's potty-mouth, I loved this book! There is something so wonderful about people with Trisomy 21 and the love and exuberance they have for life. I learned things about love, inclusion, motherhood and joy from reading this. Although I know Kathryn and her family and work at Michael's junior high (now a middle school), there is no reason someone unknown to their family can't absolutely enjoy reading this. In fact, getting to know their family through this book would be a treat. I recommend it to anyone who loves a funny, heartwarming story about a normal family in occasionally extraordinary circumstances.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Michael- born to a family a world away from the area Kathryn Hulings lives- had no way of knowing how different his life could and would be. His birth mother knew- knew that because Michael was different- she could not raise him. She chose to do 3 things, 3 remarkable things as Kathryn states- the most remarkable thing was a lie. A lie that could have far reaching consequences. Michael's birth mothers told her family that Michael was not alive. Thus this lie change Michael's life from how it would be in the area he was born in to the life it was to become nestled in Kathryn Hulings' arms and loving, open family.

Kathryn was no stranger to therapy as her other children went for various therapies from time to time. But Michael was so different- because of his Down Syndrome, at first, he was exposed to a litany of different therapies to help him achieve milestones. Soon, though, Kathryn learned the family would have to be the therapists- that professional was great for check in's- but she needed to have a hands on role. She embraced her role and Michael began learning to crawl, walk, and talk- maybe at a slower pace than his brothers and sisters- but still reaching those milestones.

Kathryn, as a mother, did not always do things the "right" way- she made mistakes, she cursed, she not a perfect mother. But she loved her kids- and the love of her kids almost played a role in her leaving the world too early. Kathryn had a routine surgery- a hysterectomy. Unknown to her, the doctor had a list of complaints and was engaging in self-medication.
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Format: Hardcover
I am so glad that Kathryn opened her doors and shared her family with readers. I enjoyed getting to know the Huling family, not just Michael. Everyone of them was special in their own way. They let Michael into their home and hearts. I know Michael got a place in my heart as well. The Huling family and Michael show that people with Down Syndrome have feelings too. They just want to be normal like everyone else. I could understand Michael not liking people staring at him. I know I don't like it either. So I can not imagine what people like Michael go through. I retract my comment, I do now have a good idea of what Michael goes through after reading this book.

The family photos were fun. I noticed that Michael had a great smile in the pictures. The rest of the family looked happy as well. I have to say that this is the type of book I want to read when I think of memoirs/nonfiction stories about real people. Because I felt like the book was not over edited, I really got to know everyone and this helped me to really enjoy this book. Also, I have to agree with another reader's comment that this book gives a good insight into someone living with this condition from birth to adulthood. Life with a Superhero is a super, good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network (serving Winston-Salem, NC and nearby communities) was approached about reading Life with a Superhero and writing a review. I volunteered and am so happy that I did. The book chronicles the beginning, middle, and ongoing challenges - and deep joys - that a family experiences when one of their members has Down syndrome. The story is told with candor and humor, and you just feel the passion.... you really do! I loved the book and immediately thought of several families in our organization that would love it, too. Michael is great! He is loved beyond measure, and the Hulings are a tight group. Kathryn Huling's untiring advocacy inspires my admiration. If you love a child who happens to have Down syndrome, whether you're a parent or professional, you will appreciate this book! And I imagine that if this child you love is your own, or your grandchild, Ms. Huling's book will especially speak to your heart.
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Format: Hardcover
Life with a Superhero is a wonderful story of how one mother faces the reality of having a child with special needs. Kathryn Hulings puts into words, as only a mother in her situation can, what it is like to raise a child that is exceptional in many ways, while at the same time exposing the reader to the struggles she encounters while loving, supporting, and advocating for her son Michael. Anyone interested in knowing what it is like to raise and love a child with special needs on a day-to-day basis, should read Life with a Superhero.
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