Carolyn and Jennifer Walker Celebrate the Publication of Every Least Sparrow

Author: Carolyn Walker
Book: Every Least Sparrow
Garn Press (226 pp.)
$27.95 hardcover, $17.95 paperback, $9.99 e-book. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program
ISBN: 978-1-942146-50-6
Paperback & Hardcover: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstore)
eBook: Amazon. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program. Available for free through Amazon Kindle Unlimited Program.


 

By Carolyn Walker

I was ten years old when I stepped before my mother and announced that someday I was going to be a writer. There in our paneled living room, I spontaneously foresaw the publication of a book with my name emblazoned across its cover. That idea became my partner and half a century later it has materialized. I am, as I wished to be, the author of a book, a memoir, Every Least Sparrow.

What I couldn’t have imagined all those years ago was that my book would be about a daughter, several decades off in the distance, whom I would eventually give birth to. This daughter, Jennifer, would be born with a rare mental retardation syndrome that I struggled first to understand and then to harness, reigning in its ability to consume our lives. Jennifer and I spent years traversing a landscape filled with hospitals, schools, meetings, therapists, doctors and surgeons, endeavoring to give her, “her best possible life”.

After fourteen years of writing, rewriting, rejections, and finally the finding of a publisher at Garn Press, I stood this past Saturday, April 22, before a room filled with family, friends, students, and strangers, with a smiling Jennifer tucked at my side, and Every Least Sparrow open in my hands. Jennifer, having previously asked me if she was going to be famous, glowed in the limelight while I attempted to internalize my realized dream. Because of her mental disability, I had no way of knowing how much Jennifer understood of the chapters I read to our audience. I glanced at her at one point, and had to fight back tears, admiring her as the young woman she has become, seeing her still in my mind’s eye, struggling to survive and flourish, with her sweet disposition, her determination.

Ours was an almost indescribable moment, me reading from my book, Jennifer stepping off the page in all her glory. Mother and daughter, writer and character. A perfect pairing of accomplishment.

Five Star Amazon Book Reviews

Book Review

“Every Least Sparrow” is one of those rare books that combines honesty, depth, tears and laughter. Carolyn Walker unflinchingly tackles the subject of raising a challenged child. There are intimate scenes of every aspect of family life centering on the raising of Jennifer, who brings her own bright spirit into all that she touches. It’s such lyrical writing about such a difficult subject, that I couldn’t put it down.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“A wonderful story that chronicles the joys and sorrows of parenting a disabled child. You realize Jennifer is a child filled with love for others and enjoys life to its fullest. The story will leave you feeling hopeful! I highly recommend it!”  – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“This is a very touching and heart-felt story that reveals both the anguish and the deep love and joy of caring for a sweet disabled child. It is surprisingly uplifting and is amazingly honest and very readable. I highly recommend this great book.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“This book will be mandatory reading and discussion for resident dentists in my training program, and I will recommend it nationally through our professional groups. Nurses, special education teachers, physicians-especially pediatricians, counselors, social workers, and clergy will all learn from the experiences of this family. I have given copies to hospital administrators and health care decision makers to help them better understand the needs of those people with special needs. Finally, this book chronicles an important time in how we treat people with special needs.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“Great read you will find yourself inspired by Jennifer and her family. This book would make a wonderful addition to any medical or nursing school experience.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“What a wonderful book! I could feel all the ups and downs of raising a child with special needs and my heart just exploded with joy as Jennifer grew-up. Through it all I fell in love with Jennifer and was so engaged with her parents and their trials and tribulations. It was an engaging read and anyone who has raised a child with special needs will definitely relate to this book.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“As a mother, myself, I walked with Carolyn through her confusing, frustrating and dark hours. I found myself shedding tears as well as feeling victory. I was so impressed with her ability to write with such honesty and love. This is such a beautiful story of Faith, Hope, and Love — “Faith to keep believing without seeing; hope to carry on when life seems dark; and Love that hangs around though problems do abound.” What an amazing family. What an amazing book. I definitely recommend Every Least Sparrow.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“Ms. Walker is a talented writer and her family story is all the better for it. A challenged child also challenges our capacity for joyousness … beautifully written . This is a must read not only for those who live with or work with special people but also those who appreciate a good book!” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“Every Least Sparrow is heartbreaking, funny, and uplifting. Carolyn Walker tells her story with unflinching honesty and a notable absence of self-pity or melodrama. Beginning with the unusual birth of her unusual daughter, Jennifer, this well-crafted story pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until Jennifer grows up. The entire journey, fraught with frustration, despair and determination, is also saturated with love, not a thin, saccharine love but rather a robust, hard won, fierce and eternal kind of love. Beautifully written, a compelling read.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“Beautifully written, an ispiring story of a mothers search for answers. Would be a helpful guide for anyone dealing with the unexpected consequences of a disabled child.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“This book is so honest and raw and beautiful. It gives you an intimate, real-life view of a family riding the waves of raising and living with a special needs child. It is both joyful and heartbreaking. Carolyn weaves such detail into her writing that you feel like you are there, in the moments she spent raising her daughter, Jennifer. This book is an inspiring read for parents and families with special needs children and, truly, a wonderfully shared journey that will capture and uplift any reader.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

Book Review

“Grace, courage and steadfast love is what you’ll find in Carolyn Walker’s new book. Unflinchingly truthful and at times emotionally wrenching, Walker describes growing up her daughter Jennifer, with RT syndrome, to independent living. This is a beautifully written many-layered book of family survival.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON

About the Book: Every Least Sparrow

Every Least Sparrow is simultaneously heartbreaking and delightful in revealing the story of Jennifer Walker, a girl born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a rare and confounding condition that affects mental and physical development. Nearly every one of Jennifer’s body functions is adversely affected by this disorder, creating enormous challenges. Rubinstein-Taybi, however, cannot lay claim to Jennifer’s spirit, or her mother’s determination that her daughter live a full and happy life.

With the support of Jennifer’s father and siblings, and devoted pediatrician, they set forth on a quest to find the “normal” that every child deserves, and every parent hopes for. Their quest takes them from fear through desperation, to true enlightenment — a profound understanding of what it means to be human. Ultimately, all involved, and especially the mother, realize the gifts of Rubinstein-Taybi: enduring love, and even envy for the accepting and joyous life that is Jennifer’s.

Author: Carolyn Walker
Book: Every Least Sparrow
Garn Press (226 pp.)
$27.95 hardcover, $17.95 paperback, $9.99 e-book. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program
ISBN: 978-1-942146-50-6
Paperback & Hardcover: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstore)
eBook: Amazon. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program. Available for free through Amazon Kindle Unlimited Program.

About Carolyn Walker

Carolyn Walker is a memoirist, essayist, poet, and creative writing instructor. After working twenty-five years as a journalist, she returned to graduate school and earned her MFA in Writing degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004.

Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, and many other publications.

Her essay “Christian Become a Blur” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and reprinted in the 50th anniversary edition of Crazyhorse. In 2013, she was made a Kresge Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Kresge Foundation. She is a lifelong Michigan resident and the married mother of three grown children.

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