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Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity Hardcover – August 14, 2012
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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"Fantastic! Funny ... interesting ... beautifully done!" - Jolie Mason, "Access Unlimited," KPFK radio, March 13, 2013
"Quite delicious ... Mattlin's timing is perfect, never over-analyzing or dwelling too long on any one subject. ... A compelling writer... poetic without being sentimental." - Roxanne Furlong, New Mobility magazine, January 2013
"Ben Mattlin could be called many things: Iconoclast, sidesplitting, and wise, among them. In Miracle Boy Grows Up, Mattlin demonstrates perhaps his greatest skill--as a master storyteller."
- Lawrence Carter-Long, National Council on Disability
"In Miracle Boy Grows Up, Ben Mattlin spins the limitations of his genetic disease into literary gold. He tells his story with grace and candor, each beautifully crafted sentence illuminating not only his rich inner life but also the complex history of the disability rights movement." - Hamilton Cain, Author of This Boy's Faith
"Mattlin tells the fascinating twin stories of his own life and the history of the disability rights movement. ... Deeply intelligent, utterly honest, funny, irritable, raunchy, companionable ... it is a love story, the story of a son, a father, and writer. This book is a pleasure." - Elizabeth McCracken
"Mattlin is candid about his challenges (e.g., finding a job, hiring attendants) but he isn't looking for pity, just understanding. ... Those who do pick up this memoir will find a unique perspective that compares with Harriet McBryde Johnson's Too Late to Die Young." --Library Journal
"Born with a severe neuromuscular condition, writer and NPR commentator Mattlin pens the story of his life so far... While most people with this illness are unlikely to live to adulthood, Mattlin's story is filled with details of how he managed to beat the odds." -Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Mattlin's story is about him growing up and, like I said, the disability rights movement. He shares the challenges that he faced in a time where people with differing abilities from the mass culture were still stigmatized and discriminated against. Throughout the book, both the readers and Mattlin learn just how lucky he was to come from the background he did. A few times, he gets a glimpse into the world of other disabled people at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, camps, etc...He discovers that not all of them have parents who advocate or even want them. You learn of the case of "Baby Doe"--two parents were allowed to starve their child to death because it had a disability. Luckily for readers and for Mattlin, that did not happen to him. There are now legal protections against this, but there is still a cultural battle against prenatal testing and the ability to abort a child simply on the fact that they will be disabled (I go back and forth on this as an extremely pro-choice person). For someone who didn't really know much about the disability rights movement aside from the ADA, Mattlin provides a great explanation of what happened, when it happened, and the context in which it happened.Read more ›
Written in a warm and funny style, Ben talks about the situations created by his health, his interactions with those more ambulatory (but less funny) than himself, and the obstructing curbstones of love and parenthood that we all might face.
I'd recommend this book to those who:
1. know someone in a wheelchair, but don't know how to act around that person
2. have an interest in disability rights
3. are ambulatory, for now anyway
All right, now to be serious about this very, very good book.
"Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity" is a revelatory account of the author's life (to date) against the broader background of the revolution in recognition of disability rights in the United States. If you are like me, you will have had very little previous consciousness of this neglected movement, which has been quite comparable in scale and significance to the other great civil rights struggles of the past century. (We've all heard of Martin Luther King and Gloria Steinem; until this book, I had never heard of Ed Roberts or the Rolling Quads.)
51 million Americans have some sort of disability; as Mattlin notes, each of us is merely temporarily ambulatory.Read more ›
As the father of two disabled adult children, I understand full well the barriers Mr. Mattlin faces each day, most of all the critical importance of having pleasant, honest, dependable assistants to maintain full independence.
Miracle Boy accomplishes the primary purpose of any well written memoir. It allows you to understand what it is like to live in another's shoes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Intense subject for reading but a great book. Amazing yo read of the strength, courage and positive that follow such challenges... Truly amazing!Published 2 months ago by Carla Herrmann
Interesting memoir about growing up before and after legislation for disabilities and the challenges faced throughout ones life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
My fiancé urged me to read Ben’s memoir mainly because Ben has the same disorder as I have. At first I was reluctant to read yet another syrupy memoir about disability, but... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Viola
Unstinting in its honesty, this memoir is very different than the usual "courageous victim" genre. The author is not afraid to get into the nitty-gritty of what it is like to have... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Goodcook
I enjoyed reading this very interesting story. I learned a lot about living with a disability. It clearly isn't easy to live with, but the author always accepts his condition... Read morePublished 11 months ago by michigoose
Great perspective of a boy growing into a man while living with a progressive disability. So interesting to read the evolution of his self image and the parallels to the disability... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Benard T. Dorer
Well written and very interesting look into the world of the physically disabled. I also learned quite a bit about how the Disabilities Act changed the way the disabled are treated... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Donna L. Bresnick
Enthralling account of the author's remarkable life. Mattlin has a gift for easy prose. I could not put it down.Published 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
Opens ones eyes to life with disabilities and the courage and grit on one boy/man.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer