“This touching memoir is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the real-world experiences of a child with craniofacial differences and his extraordinary family. It’s also more than that. It’s a story about the love between a mother and a son, a child and his family, and the breadth of friends, helpers, and doctors that step in when the unexpected happens. It’s a story that will make young readers reevaluate the word ‘normal’—not only as it applies to others, but to themselves. Any book that can do that is pretty wondrous, as far as I’m concerned.” —R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder
Normal. Who is to say what this word means? For Magda Newman, it was a goal. She wanted her son Nathaniel to be able to play on the playground, swim at the beach, enjoy the moments his friends took for granted. But Nathaniel’s severe Treacher Collins syndrome—a craniofacial condition—meant that other concerns came first. Could he eat without the aid of a gastrointestinal tube? Could he hear? Would he ever be able to breathe effortlessly? But Nathaniel looks at “normal” from a completely different perspective.
In this uplifting and humorous memoir that includes black-and-white comic illustrations, mother and son tell the story of his growing up—from facing sixty-seven surgeries before the age of fifteen, to making friends, moving across the country, and persevering through hardships. How they tackle extraordinary circumstances with love and resilience is a true testament to Magda and Nathaniel’s family, and to families everywhere who quietly but courageously persist.
About the Author
“In another moment of wonder for the Newmans, Magda and Nathaniel are now authors themselves, just finishing their new book titled aptly enough, NORMAL: One Kid’s Extraordinary Journey.” — 20/20, ABC-TV
"[A] narrative that capably explores self-image, human dynamics, and the meaning of normality." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Despite being dubbed 'Auggie Pullman come to life,' Nathaniel abundantly shows that he's his own multifaceted person... Funny, compassionate, and thoughtful." —Kirkus
"Nathaniel’s story will inspire all children to celebrate their differences." —Booklist
"[I]t’s the honest—sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, and occasionally unflattering—memories that prove most compelling." —Publishers Weekly
"Nathaniel and his mother have written a powerful and honest memoir together....a compelling story, but when coupled with additional information about the much-beloved book Wonder (and the movie), this title is sure to fly off the shelves." —School Library Journal