The Horse Boy: A Memoir of Healing
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The Horse Boy: A Memoir of Healing

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by Rupert Isaacson
     
 

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Rowan Issacson was two years old when he was diagnosed with autism. His father, Rupert, a lifelong horseman, was devastated. Would he ever be able to communicate with his son, much less share the wonder of horses with him?

Then something extraordinary happened. Rowan encountered Betsy, a neighbor's testy mare, and a new, profound calm fell over him. Rupert saw

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Overview

Rowan Issacson was two years old when he was diagnosed with autism. His father, Rupert, a lifelong horseman, was devastated. Would he ever be able to communicate with his son, much less share the wonder of horses with him?

Then something extraordinary happened. Rowan encountered Betsy, a neighbor's testy mare, and a new, profound calm fell over him. Rupert saw that his distant, unreachable son had a real connection with the horse. When he took Rowan riding on Betsy, the boy began to improve remarkably. Rupert wondered: What if they took that connection further? What if they traveled to a place where horses and healing come together?

The Horse Boy is the heart-wrenching and triumphant tale of the Isaacson family's journey to Outer Mongolia and to new ways of healing. This inspiring true story shows how even in our darkest moments we can discover joy, and how hope can arrive in the most unexpected of ways.

Editorial Reviews

Bookpage
"Isaacson's astonishing memoirreveals how, inspired by these rare moments in the saddle, he began a quest through Mongolia to heal his five-year-old son.... Isaacson's journey to heal his son is just that, a healing, not a cure. But he wouldn't want it any other way. While the author's purpose was to draw Rowan out of his autism, he came to realize the overlooked gifts it entails. The Horse Boy will leave readers with a new appreciation for autism and the healing techniques of other cultures; like Rowan, they, too, will be changed forever."
Temple Grandin
Everyone who is fascinated by the human-animal bond should read this totally engrossing book.
author of Animals in Translation
Luis Alberto Urrea
Rupert Isaacson has conjured a non-fiction journey that reads like an epic novel.It is a book of endless amazements. The world of Mongolian shamans, the details of adventuresome travel, the mysterious world of autism—all are all amazing.Soon, you realize that the world of horses is mysterious, too—and, yes, amazing.By the time you are in the grip of this book, you'll see love, marriage, and parenthood as a realm of magic, profound power, and further amazements.The Horse Boy can change the way you see your life, and it's a terrifically good read at the same time.It feels like a classic.
author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and The Devil's Highway
Good Housekeeping
"A colorful real-life adventure with inspiring results."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Isaacson charts his son's progress and regressions with an endearing tenderness.... Readers also follow the rare moments when Rowan expresses affection for his father, who is honest and humble throughout. And the author's chatty and self-deprecating storytelling adds a welcome buoyancy to a weighty experience. Meanwhile, Mongolia makes a fetching backdrop for this father/son love story.... Rooting for Rowan through all this... makes The Horse Boy an unexpected page turner."
Dr. Temple Grandin - author of Animals in Translation
"Everyone who is fascinated by the human-animal bond should read this totally engrossing book."
Luis Alberto Urrea - author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and The Devil's Highway
"Rupert Isaacson has conjured a non-fiction journey that reads like an epic novel.It is a book of endless amazements. The world of Mongolian shamans, the details of adventuresome travel, the mysterious world of autism--all are all amazing.Soon, you realize that the world of horses is mysterious, too--and, yes, amazing.By the time you are in the grip of this book, you'll see love, marriage, and parenthood as a realm of magic, profound power, and further amazements.The Horse Boy can change the way you see your life, and it's a terrifically good read at the same time.It feels like a classic."
From the Publisher
"Isaacson's astonishing memoirreveals how, inspired by these rare moments in the saddle, he began a quest through Mongolia to heal his five-year-old son.... Isaacson's journey to heal his son is just that, a healing, not a cure. But he wouldn't want it any other way. While the author's purpose was to draw Rowan out of his autism, he came to realize the overlooked gifts it entails. The Horse Boy will leave readers with a new appreciation for autism and the healing techniques of other cultures; like Rowan, they, too, will be changed forever."—Bookpage

"Everyone who is fascinated by the human-animal bond should read this totally engrossing book."—Dr. Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation"

Rupert Isaacson has conjured a non-fiction journey that reads like an epic novel.It is a book of endless amazements. The world of Mongolian shamans, the details of adventuresome travel, the mysterious world of autism—all are all amazing.Soon, you realize that the world of horses is mysterious, too—and, yes, amazing.By the time you are in the grip of this book, you'll see love, marriage, and parenthood as a realm of magic, profound power, and further amazements.The Horse Boy can change the way you see your life, and it's a terrifically good read at the same time.It feels like a classic."—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and The Devil's Highway"

In this intense, polished account, the parents of an autistic boy trek to the Mongolian steppes to consult shamans in a last-ditch effort to alter his unraveling behavior.... Isaacson records heartening improvement in Rowan's firestormlike tantrums and incontinence, as he taps into an ancient, valuable form of spirit healing."—Publishers Weekly"

A colorful real-life adventure with inspiring results."—Good Housekeeping"

Isaacson charts his son's progress and regressions with an endearing tenderness.... Readers also follow the rare moments when Rowan expresses affection for his father, who is honest and humble throughout. And the author's chatty and self-deprecating storytelling adds a welcome buoyancy to a weighty experience. Meanwhile, Mongolia makes a fetching backdrop for this father/son love story.... Rooting for Rowan through all this... makes The Horse Boy an unexpected page turner."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316008242
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/02/2010
Pages:
355
Sales rank:
534,483
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Rupert Isaacson was born in London to a South African mother and a Zimbabwean father.Isaacson's first book, The Healing Land (Grove Press), was a2004 New York Times Notable Book.He has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, and North America for the British press and now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Kristin, and their son, Rowan.

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