Far From the Tree

Far From the Tree

Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

Book - 2012 | 1st Scribner hardcover ed
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Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780743236713 (hbk. : alk. paper)
0743236718 (hbk. : alk. paper)
9780743236720 (trade pbk. : alk. paper)
0743236726 (trade pbk. : alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 362.408309 SOL
Characteristics: ix, 962 p. ; 25 cm


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JCLFlanneryC Dec 22, 2020

This is a remarkable book that anyone interested in what makes us human/what makes lives worth living ought to read, with special interest for educators, parents, soon-to-be parents, etc. This is non-scholarly, easy to read book integrating research but built on interviews with families of children who are in any ways different from their parents, with chapters on dwarfism, Down's syndrome, autism, mental illness, etc. Rarely can I say a book made me a better person but I hope this one made me more sympathetic. It definitely blew my mind by erasing equivalencies between verbal intelligence and intelligence. It made me more thoughtful about parenting, though I am not a mother. It made me more circumspect about the ways in which parents love, process and grieve, as well as the ways kids "act out." There is so much we have yet to learn and unlearn about difference and disability, and though this is not a "perfect" book it is very good. (It does seem to focus on at least middle-class families or families with resources; a book featuring families without resources might be much sadder.) The documentary is also very good if you only have 90 minutes; this book does weigh in at nearly 700 pages, and I recommend reading it in whatever order interests you.

Lmb9511 Aug 22, 2019

A very long well-written book; chapters could stand on their own as essays. As I was advised elsewhere, read the first chapter, then choose one or two that call to you, then either read the final chapter or set the book aside for reading another time. There is much to be pondered. Solomon has interviewed parents and their physically, mentally, socially "different" children and related their hopes, fears, victories and adjustments.

LoganLib_JennyI Feb 06, 2019

An emotional book on every level whether you are a parent-to-be, parent, teacher or grandparent. Through interviews with family members backed by extensive, scientific research, Solomon paints a compassionate and brutally honest picture of the lives of the children and their families.
Difference is difficult but that doesn't mean it isn't good for us as individuals and a community or world as a whole.
Just as some social taboos of bygone centuries are unacceptable in modern times, Solomon gently reminds us that by accepting others where they are - instead putting family, friends and strangers in "boxes" - we can slowly learn from these brave families' lives.

Oct 15, 2018

Massive, heavily researched, and provocative book about childhood by writer/professor Andrew Solomon. He divides his chapters by subject, focusing on children who are "different," although Solomon questions normative categories, including homosexuality, children born of rape, children who turn to crime, and "disabled" (Again, the category itself is challenged.) children. There are a lot of case studies, so it's not overly academic. It is, however, a very long book, coming in at 700 pages (plus notes). Part of a recent list of best books of the 21st century.

SCL_Justin Oct 17, 2017

When people have kids there are aspects of continuity from generation to generation, and Solomon refers to these as vertical identities. What this book is about though, is horizontal identities, where a child is very different from the generations that preceded her, and often from everyone else in the household. He looked at 10 different types of these horizontal identities (deaf, autistic, gifted, transgender and more) through tonnes and tonnes of family stories. It was very effective and empathy-building. Very recommended.

ArapahoeStaff26 Aug 09, 2017

Written with wisdom and compassion. For those whose children struggle with issues different from their parents - you are not alone.

Jul 12, 2017

As a teacher, I strongly suggest that every educator read this book.

Jul 12, 2014

The prose in the book is excellent. The interviews with parents and children are emotionally gripping.This is a book that everyone should read as it relates to identity, something everyone strives to achieve. Although the author does mention it, this collection of stories is non random and therefore this is not a true scientific review of people with the corresponding conditions. Nonetheless this book is an exceptional read.

Jan 09, 2014

This book is very long, but Solomon's prose is gripping, and he has done extensive research and interviewing. He is a big thinker who strives for fairness. I learned something on every page. Highly recommended.

Jan 01, 2014

Andrew Solomon is the most popular guest Steve Paikin's The Agenda has ever had; the most viewers. He is a delight and obviously extremely intelligent. I am waiting for The Agenda to have him again as a guest. You can probably play yourself a clip on You Tube

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