by Marie Killilea


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440143765
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1985

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Karen 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
frannyor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book about a family's groundbreaking efforts to win recognition of the humanity of people with cerebral palsy was enormously popular in its day (it was first published in the early 1950s). One reason is the character of the author's daughter, the Karen of the title, but the book is also well-written. The 1940s, when the action mostly takes place, is another world. Everyone smokes--even the doctors offer the parents a cigarette as they sit down for consultation. The mom has more than one low-birth-weight baby, and another of her daughters suffers from both rheumatic fever and tuberculosis, but this was before connections to smoking had been made. She also easily assumes her role as wife and mother in the traditional sense. It was a time when mass mailings for the nascent CP organization had to be written with carbon copies and the local police could be called upon in a pinch to help deliver them to the post office when the parents fell sick.
Siusaidh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A favorite book when I was a child, read in the '60's.
puttocklibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book had a major impact on me growing up. I read it many times over. This is the fascinating true story of Marie Killilea, mother of Karen Killilea, a child with cerebral palsy growing up in the 1950's. All the challanges and the joys experienced by this family are heartwarming and moving with every re-read.
drinkingtea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I forget what class I had to read this for. It wasn't a bad book, but dragged on a bit for my teenaged mind. I should give it a reread and see what I think.
Kiana_Guist More than 1 year ago
Not Afflicted, but Affected Karen was a beautiful baby, but there was something different about her; after numerous visits to doctors she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Karen and her family were rejected by almost everyone they came in contact with but Marie and Jimmy, Karen’s parents, never lost hope that she would one day achieve everything everyone else could. Through dedication and enormous efforts Marie helped found the New York State Cerebral Palsy Association, which rose awareness about C.P. and gave help to other parents with C.P. children, provided the support Karen needed to overcome challenges that would come natural to non-disabled children, and managed to balance family and faith through all of it. Marie Killilea shares her experience as a wife and mother in Karen, and leaves the reader anticipating what will happen in the next chapter as they read. Each page holds a mix of despair and struggles but at the same time a sense of hope and perseverance. Every challenge the Killilea family faces is never too big for them. Marie and Jimmy are the perfect example of parents who will sacrifice and devote all they have for their children. The accomplishments of the Killilea’s enable the reader to feel as if they can achieve anything. Marie Killilea incorporates the importance of faith into Karen. She emphasizes that her faith and trust in God helped her manage each day and get through the tough times that seemed to drag on. Her audience can feel each emotion throughout the whole novel. This novel incorporates many aspects and is well rounded. It covers subjects from equality for physical and mental handicaps to the everyday struggles all families face. It will touch any reader’s heart and urge them to make the world a better place. Karen provides an inside look at the hard work it takes for special needs individuals to accomplish what would be seen as miniscule tasks, and the determination required for people taking care of them. A new respect for these people groups will be gained by all readers. Although, the novel may be too detailed; some chapters are not imperative to the overall story. Karen is a truly inspiring novel which is appropriate for any age group from elementary school to adults. It is for readers who want a down-to-earth, true story that will encourage them. It is a great read for mothers trying to raise their children or for anyone looking for an interesting novel. If individuals enjoy Karen the sequel With Love from Karen is a wonderful follow up book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read it in 4th grade--100 times...A brave young lady and her family started the 'revolution' towards equality for those with physical (and mental handicaps)--Much progress over time, would love to know what happened later on in life...am a nurse and mother of special needs children.......yet there is much more to be done for reversing dicrimination...their life and struggles partly influenced my career choice........38 yrs later, the book is still popular-thats awesome!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book as an eighth grader and it inspired me to go to college to major in Special Education. I admire Physical Therapists so much from reading this book. It is a must read for anyone wanting to work with special needs students or a parent of a special needs child. Thanks Marie for a fantastic story. Also, where is Karen now?
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was only 13 or so my mother told me that this had been one of her favorite books when she was younger. I read it and loved it along with the sequel. Clearly it stands out in memory through time. An excellent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book when i was about 18 or 19 years old. loved it from the start. found out there was a sequel and promptly read that, Outstanding books. wish there was a follow up on karen's life. excellent book, p.s. i am 50 yrs old, just goes to show good books are remembered always jill
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a child and have never forgotten Marie Killilea's vivid, emotional and interesting picture of her life as a young, devout wife and mother -- with one child, Karen, born with cerebral palsy. Inspirational but not syrupy. Especially interesting are their real-life next door neighbors, Jean Kerr (Please Don't Eat The Daisies)and her Broadway critic husband, Walter Kerr.