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George and Sam Paperback – 1 Mar 2012


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George and Sam + Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241956609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241956601
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Charlotte Moore was brought up in Battle, Sussex, in the Tudor house where she now lives with her three sons. She read English at Oxford before becoming a teacher for twelve years. She is now a freelance author, and has written three novels as well as a long-running column for the Guardian, and a highly acclaimed family history, Hancox (Viking, 2010/Penguin, 2011)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I found this book to be a very good introduction to life with autistic children. Having said that, I don't think that anyone should be put off by thinking that it is only for those who know or have autistic children. It is a highly entertaining and involving story...
This book revolves around the lives of two autistic boys and their younger non-autistic brother. They live with their mother, the author of the book. Although it does discuss the many controversial issues surrounding autism, such as the MMR jab, the book is not just about the issues or indeed the medics surrounding autism. It is about the lives of the whole family and network of friends and helpers. With an introduction by Nick Hornby, the father of an autist, the book lacks nothing it set out to achieve, it is eye-opening and entertaining simultaneously.
A great and informative read!
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary and inspiring book. Charlotte Moore is the mother of three boys, two of them autistic. This is her account of living with children who can see no reason not to finger-paint with their own excrement, stay awake all night long, or climb on the roof to rip off and fling down the tiles. Moore last had an unbroken night’s sleep fourteen years ago.
But the book is anything but grim ( in fact, it is often extremely funny), and is written without a trace of self-pity or complaint. Moore does not see herself as either a victim or a heroine – though readers will see her as one. For her, her children are true individuals, loved so dearly that even their differences from “neurotypical” children are celebrated.
This is not because Moore is sentimental about the condition, or her children. Indeed, she is able to be so accepting of their behaviour, and find so much compensating richness in their peculiarities, partly because she is so tough-minded and clear-eyed. She wastes no time bemoaning the children George and Sam might have been or regretting the genius she thought she had when George was a toddler (heart-breakingly, George was extraordinarily precocious, able before his second birthday to recognise all the letters of the alphabet and recite poetry from A Child’s Garden of Verses). She recognises that her autistic sons are not ‘normal’ children trapped within their disability – to be released by some miracle cure; they are autistic through and through. “I learned, long ago, that loving children like these had to be unconditional. That’s true of loving all children, actually, but with autism you quickly learn that you can’t look for gratitude or reciprocity…This wasn’t a hard lesson to master.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an inspiring book. Charlotte Moore is the mother of three boys, two of them autistic. This is her account of living with children who can see no reason not to finger-paint with their own excrement, stay awake all night long, or climb on the roof and fling down the tiles. Moore last had an unbroken night’s sleep 14 years ago.
But the book is anything but grim (in fact, it is often extremely funny), and is written without a trace of self-pity or complaint. Moore does not see herself as either a victim or a heroine – though readers will see her as one. For her, her children are true individuals, loved so dearly that even their differences from “neurotypical” children are celebrated.
This is not because Moore is sentimental about the condition, or her children. Indeed, she is able to be so accepting of their behaviour, and find so much compensating richness in their peculiarities, partly because she is so tough-minded and clear-eyed. She wastes no time bemoaning the children George and Sam might have been or regretting the genius she thought she had when George was a toddler (heart-breakingly, George was extraordinarily precocious, able before his second birthday to recognise all the letters of the alphabet and recite poetry from A Child’s Garden of Verses). She recognises that her autistic sons are not ‘normal’ children trapped within their disability – to be released by some miracle cure; they are autistic through and through. “I learned, long ago, that loving children like these had to be unconditional. That’s true of loving all children, actually, but with autism you quickly learn that you can’t look for gratitude or reciprocity…This wasn’t a hard lesson to master.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jessi VINE VOICE on 6 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
Written in a laconic, wryly humorous style, 'George and Sam' is a celebration of Charlotte Moore's two autistic sons. Many books on autism relegate autistic people to the background and focus exclusively on the disorder itself, but Charlotte has not turned her sons into case studies - she presents them as two marvellous, highly individual young boys, each with his own distinct personality and preferences. George cherishes a great love for language and has memorised hundreds of books and video soundtracks. He usually speaks only through quotations. Upon discovering his mother entertaining her friends to tea, he exclaimed, "This will make Ben Hur look like a vicarage tea party!" while the black wig of his auditory integration therapist (a Chasidic Jew) has led him to address her forevermore as 'Cruella'.
Sam is a swashbuckling adventurer with a passion for washing machines and muddy badger holes. Moore, wanting to test out George's tentative understanding of sex, once asked him, "Where did Sam come from?" George's perceptive reply was, "Sam came out of a puddle." The boys clearly couldn't be more different, and this is the greatest triumph of the book - Charlotte has succeeded in showing us that 'autism' is not necessarily a descriptor of personality, and that there is plenty of room for individuality beneath the autistic umbrella.
The book is also packed with practical, eclectic advice on everything from education to diet to therapy. Moore acknowledges that there is no definitive answer where autism is concerned and that what is right for one child might not be right for another.
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