The Brooke Ellison Story: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey

Overview

On her first day of seventh grade, a car struck Brooke Ellison on her way home from school. The accident left her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a respirator.

Ten years later, with her mother, Jean, by her side, Brooke graduated with honors from Harvard University. This is the story, told in their own words, of the miraculous journey that Brooke and Jean undertook so that Brooke could achieve her goals, against all odds. Written in alternating chapters by Brooke ...

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Overview

On her first day of seventh grade, a car struck Brooke Ellison on her way home from school. The accident left her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a respirator.

Ten years later, with her mother, Jean, by her side, Brooke graduated with honors from Harvard University. This is the story, told in their own words, of the miraculous journey that Brooke and Jean undertook so that Brooke could achieve her goals, against all odds. Written in alternating chapters by Brooke and Jean, The Brooke Ellison Story is filled with optimism, confidence, and inspiration. It is not just about one extrordinary mother-daughter relationship, but about the special bond that exists between mothers and daughters everywhere.

The Brooke Ellison Story is now an A&E original movie directed by Christopher Reeve, starring Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Slattery, and Lacey Chabert.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Written with keen intellect and an open heart . . .
Kirkus Reviews
A tribute to the remarkable strength of a family in the face of a disaster.
Publishers Weekly
In a similar vein is Brooke and Jean Ellison's Miracles Happen: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey. When she was 11 years old, Brooke was hit by a car and was paralyzed from the neck down. Her mother, Jean, nurtured her with optimism and confidence, and 10 years later Brooke graduated from Harvard University, becoming the first quadriplegic to do so. This two-person account (in which the authors trade off chapters) covers a lot of ground: living with a disability, the importance of mother-daughter relationships and celebrating everyday wonders. The book's publication coincides with the broadcast of the ABC-TV movie about the Ellisons directed by Christopher Reeve. ( Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a similar vein is Brooke and Jean Ellison's Miracles Happen: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey. When she was 11 years old, Brooke was hit by a car and was paralyzed from the neck down. Her mother, Jean, nurtured her with optimism and confidence, and 10 years later Brooke graduated from Harvard University, becoming the first quadriplegic to do so. This two-person account (in which the authors trade off chapters) covers a lot of ground: living with a disability, the importance of mother-daughter relationships and celebrating everyday wonders. The book's publication coincides with the broadcast of the ABC-TV movie about the Ellisons directed by Christopher Reeve. ( Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
At age 11, Brooke Ellison was left paralyzed from the neck down after being hit by an automobile. Writing together in alternating chapters, Brooke and her mother, Jean, document the exhausting efforts and dedication that it took for Brooke to beat overwhelming physical odds and finally graduate, with honors, from Harvard University. The story begins on the day of the accident and ends triumphantly with Brooke's graduation speech from college. Brooke's upbeat account of her college experience reveals her charming and witty nature, and Jean's contribution is a testimony to the profound powers of a mother's love and unfailing dedication. Although many other biographies of quadriplegics are available, this one, written with keen intellect and an open heart, deserves attention. It is recommended for both public and school libraries seeking nonfiction that provides strong role models for adolescents. Academic libraries supporting a curriculum in the health sciences might also find this suitable. Deborah Anne Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A potently straightforward account of how Brooke Ellison managed to attend a mainstream public school and graduate from Harvard after being struck by a car and paralyzed from the neck down at age 11. Unfolding the story in alternating chapters, Brooke and her mother, Jean, begin their account the day of the accident, Brooke's first day of junior high school. Brooke was expected to die from her injuries; her spinal cord was severed and she was in a coma for days. When she regained consciousness, she had lost all control of her body from the neck down, but her parents were determined to give their child as normal a life as possible. That meant finding a way for Brooke to attend the local public school. In what would come to be standard practice in the Ellison household, Jean accompanied her daughter to school when adequate nursing wasn't available. Mother saw daughter through junior high and high school, and when Brooke was accepted to Harvard, the two moved to Cambridge together. Employing a matter-of-fact tone, mother and daughter run through the challenges faced over the years: grappling with a school board unwilling to provide aides, finding ways to study when Brooke could not write, or turn the pages of a book, dealing with the awkwardness of Brooke's longing for a romantic connection while she was imprisoned in a body that would not respond and had to be monitored at all times by her mother. The story's power does not come from its style or elegance or the philosophizing of the Ellison women-although they surely were strengthened by their faith-but from the revelation of just how compromised a quadriplegic body is and how much dedication and strength of mind are necessary to get thatbody through a normal day. A tribute to the remarkable strength of a family in the face of disaster. First serial to Reader's Digest
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786886593
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/6/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 271,621
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Brooke and Jean Ellison currently reside in Stony Brook, New York. Brooke recently completed her master's degree in Public Policy at Harvard and is now pursuing a Ph.D. at Stony Brook University.

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