Over 20 years ago, in a small Israeli town, a desperate mother told a remarkable lie. She told her friends and family that her newborn child had died. That lie became the catalyst for the unfolding truth of the adoption of that same baby - Michael - who is, in fact, very much alive and now 22 years old. He also has Down syndrome.
When Kathryn Hulings adopted Michael as an infant, she could not have known that he would save her life when she became gravely ill and was left forever physically compromised. Her story delights in how Michael's life and hers, while both marked by difference and challenge, are forever intertwined in celebration and laughter. With candor and a sense of humor, Life With a Superhero wraps itself around the raucous joy of Michael's existence with his four older siblings who play hard and love big; how Kathryn and her husband, Jim, utilize unconventional techniques in raising kids; the romance between Michael and his fiancee, Casey; the power of dance in Michael's life as an equalizing and enthralling force; the staggering potential and creativity of those who are differently-abled; and the mind-blowing politics of how Kathryn navigated school systems and societal attitudes that at times fought to keep Michael excluded from the lives of kids deemed "normal".
No other books about the parenting experience outline what to do when, say, a child runs across the roof of a tri-level house pretending he can fly, or shows up in a 7th grade social studies class dressed like Spiderman, or calls 911 when his girlfriend breaks his heart. But, as Michael's mom, Kathryn, has been trying to figure how to be a mother in just such circumstances - sometimes with success, sometimes with dismal failure - for over two decades.
“Make no mistake: This is a love story, one that is at once foreign and familiar, painful and poignant... I was taken on a truly incredible journey, one fraught with ‘the sweetness of secrets and the necessity of betrayals.' Kathryn Hulings does, indeed, deserve ‘way better than a plus sign'; she deserves a star.” (Pamela K. Coke, Associate Professor of English Education, Colorado State University)
“From the first page, this memoir that reads like a novel brims with characters who sometimes struggle mightily yet in the end perform lionhearted feats almost every day, year after year... By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Kathryn Hulings' debut book is a moving portrayal of family and community dedication and love.” (John Calderazzo, author of Rising Fire: Volcanoes and Our Inner Lives)
“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 of The Year My Son and I Were Born)
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