About this book: (from the publisher) Like any other teenage boy, Austin loves pizza, movies, dancing, and girls. But unlike most other eighteen-year-olds, he has a rare brittle-bone disease, was locked in a mental ward as a child, and is autistic. Yet Austin doesn’t let any of that stop him.
His is a world where suffering a broken back is a minor inconvenience and the quest for the ultimate strawberry shake just might be the best day of his life.
Written with remarkable candor by Austin’s father, Scott, and New York Times best-selling author Susy Flory, The Unbreakable Boy weaves the beautiful and often humorous tale of how Austin teaches his father―and everyone else he encounters―to have faith in God and trust that one day life’s messes will all make sense.
About the authors: (excerpted from his website) SCOTT LERETTE is an ordinary man with an extraordinary son. He is a sales executive for GE Capital whose favorite sports team of all time is the Boston Red Sox. Married to Teresa for twenty years, they live in Red Oak, Iowa, with their sons Austin (eighteen), Logan (sixteen), and a number of pets. Scott is an accomplished chess player, avid gamer, plays acoustic guitar in a band, and is actively involved with his church where he helps organize youth and high school missions and community service projects.
SUSY FLORY is a New York Times bestselling author with degrees from UCLA in English and psychology. She taught high school English and journalism, then quit in 2004 to write full time for publications such as Focus on the Family, Guideposts Books, In Touch, Praise & Coffee, Today’s Christian, and Today’s Christian Woman. She is the author or co-author of seven books, including Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero. Thunder Dog was a runaway bestseller and spent over a dozen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Susy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband. She has two grown children, a terrier named Sprinkles, and an ex-racehorse named Stetson.
Reminds me of… Get Your Joy Back by Laurie Wallin
Will especially appeal to…parents facing the challenge of rearing special needs kids
This story matters because…in the words of the publisher, “Austin’s journey dares us all to believe that miracles are possible, that hope does spring eternal, and that we can find joyous moments to celebrate every day.”
My take: What do you do if you’re a man who finds himself an unexpected dad, and then an unexpected husband, confronting a maybe-not-so-unexpected addiction as he rears an unexpected son?
Well, if you’re Scott LeRette, you write a popular blog about your journey and turn it into a book. Which becomes a poignant love letter to both your “crazy life” and the son who makes it so.
From the first pages of The Unbreakable Boy–in which we meet Austin and then his dad “cowering in the closet”–I was drawn into the story of their quirky, crazy life. First hooked, and then won over by Scott’s heartrendingly authentic representation of his journey, his family, himself. Who wouldn’t be inspired to see how an ordinary guy learned, by God’s grace, to be more like his extraordinary son?
Perhaps because I grew up with a brother with autism and have many good friends parenting children with autism–or perhaps simply because I’m a mom with challenges of my own–Scott’s story helped me. To see blessing in the small things, to find joy in everyday challenges, and to reach for hope.
I recommend The Unbreakable Boy to readers who not only wish to increase their awareness of special needs, but to be encouraged. And, as Scott says, to embrace those who are “different” as right and sound and good.
[Tweet “A Father’s Fear, a Son’s Courage, and a Story of Unconditional Love #UnbreakableBoy @ScottLeRette “]
Thanks to Veritas Communications Inc. for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
After words: How many parents do you know who might be encouraged by Scott LeRette’s story of The Unbreakable Boy?