I have had this book on my reserve list through the local library for months now, and it finally came in a few weeks ago. It is called Far From The Tree; Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, this book and other books like it have been thrown around in the media, the debate being, are criminals like that born or made? The assumption is often that the family had something to do with it but this is not always the case.
It is a very good book. It’s a very thick book but the writing style is very tolerable; i.e. you can read it for a long period of time before you feel the need to “tap out”. I find the style similar to Steven Pinker who I am a big fan of. It’s educated, but not snooty. It’s written in a very humane manner which I like as well.
The content is fascinating. Each chapter is about a specific sensory impairment, disorder etc and contains a number of interviews with parents and children, as well as a lot of background information on each topic. The author is very good at getting a variety of input, i.e. the chapter on deafness contained interviews with parents and children who had a wide variety of perspectives of Deaf culture, cochlear implants, Deaf schools vs. auditory only, mainstreaming etc. Since I’m a speech therapist who works with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children as well as with Deaf/HoH co-workers, I felt that chapter was particularly well done.
If you are looking for something to read that strikes a very human chord but also has a scientific, non-fiction aspect to it, give this one a try. I’m not even done with it yet and plan to purchase it ASAP.