The Sibling Slam Book: What It's Really Like to Have a Brother or Sister with Special Needs

Overview

(2006 Independent Publishers Book Awards:
Finalist in Juvenile-Teen-Y/A Non-Fiction Category)

Give teenagers a chance to say what's on their minds, and you might be surprised by what you hear. That's exactly what Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and author of VIEWS FROM OUR SHOES did when he invited together a group of 80 teenagers, from all over the United States and abroad, to talk about what it's like to have a brother or sister with special needs. Their unedited words are ...

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Overview

(2006 Independent Publishers Book Awards:
Finalist in Juvenile-Teen-Y/A Non-Fiction Category)

Give teenagers a chance to say what's on their minds, and you might be surprised by what you hear. That's exactly what Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and author of VIEWS FROM OUR SHOES did when he invited together a group of 80 teenagers, from all over the United States and abroad, to talk about what it's like to have a brother or sister with special needs. Their unedited words are found in THE SIBLING SLAM BOOK, a brutally honest, non-PC look at the lives, experiences, and opinions of siblings without disabilities.

Formatted like the slam books passed around in many junior high and high schools, this one poses a series of 50 personal questions along the lines of:
"What should we know about you?"
"What do you tell your friends about your sib's disability?"
"What's the weirdest question you have ever been asked about your sib?"
"If you could change one thing about your sib (or your sib's disability) what would it be?" "What annoys you most about how people treat your sib?"

THE SIBLING SLAM BOOK doesn't "slam" in the traditional sense of the word. The tone and point-of-view of the answers are all over the map. Some answers are assuredly positive, a few are strikingly negative, but most reflect the complex and conflicted mix of emotions that come with the territory. Whether they read it cover to cover or sample it at random, teenagers will surely find common ground among these pages and reassurance that they are not alone. It is a book that parents, friends, and counselors can feel confident recommending to any teenager with a brother or sisterwith a disability.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
Presented in the format of a notebook with lined pages, this book is the result of a survey administered through the auspices of the Arc of the United States on the SibKids Listserve. The results were boiled down, using responses from eighty teens, ranging in age from thirteen to nineteen, who live primarily in the U.S., with a few from Canada, Australia, and the U.K. Selected responses to each question are displayed across the notebook pages, making clever use of computer-generated fonts that look like variations of manuscript printing. Space is left for the book's owner to add his or her own response. While the questions do not all deal with life with a sibling who has a disability, most do, ranging from: "Do you think being a sib has affected your personality? How?" to "What are some advantages-good parts-of having a sibling with a disability?" My favorite answer to the latter is, "You get more clothes because she doesn't' care about them" submitted by a thirteen-year-old girl. The main premise of the book is that having a sibling with a disability changes your life, and that these changes are not always bad but are evident nonetheless. Underlying this is our need as humans to find a group to which we can belong, and this group is made up of young people whose siblings have some form of disability. Finding an inclusive community allows these young people to feel connected. While this book is not for everyone, it certainly fills a niche within the world of siblings of a certain age.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-This multifaceted vehicle for eliciting some unique and many universal emotions is designed specifically for siblings of special-needs children. An adolescent mainstay, the slam book is the chosen venue for encouraging the venting of opinions, hopes, fears, frustrations, and triumphs. Comments by 81 young people display the recurring theme of optimism, complicated by hard work, dedication, resentment, and fierce protection, all as by-products of love. Some questions serve as icebreakers, such as "What should we know about you?" and "What should we know about your sib?" while thought-provoking chapters include "What life lesson have you learned from being a sib?" and "What are some advantages-good parts-of having a sibling with a disability?" Typical slam-book questions such as "Has your sib ever embarrassed you?" are interspersed with chapters like "Ever feel invisible?" Answers from the large sample group supply ample material so that each reader is sure to relate to some of the thoughtful or heartfelt responses. Highly recommended for all middle, high school, and public libraries.-Sharon A. Neal, Alvernia College, Reading, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890627522
  • Publisher: Woodbine House
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 480,369
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 11.18 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Sibling Slam Book

    I personally loved this book, because I have a sister with autism and I could relate with everything that was written. But thinking realistically, I think this book would only be read and liked by teens with a sibling with a disablility.
    So, teens:
    If you have a sibling or have someone close to you that has a disability, this is a must read. It touches really close to home.

    Others, I'd say more likely than not, you wouldn't really like it as much. Probably not at all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 1, 2010

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