“[After Schonborn’s] first day of kindergarten, he complained that no one seemed to understand him when he spoke. His mother, wise beyond her years, reassured him by saying that the other children ‘needed to be better listeners.’
The author writes charmingly of his childhood, particularly when he describes the many ways his birth defect affected his young parents and siblings. For example, while Schonborn’s 2-year-old sister watched her mother use an eyedropper to feed him as a new baby, she declared, ‘He’s a bird and I don’t like him.’ Soon, however, that same sister became the author’s fierce protector from schoolyard bullies. …
The author’s account of [a family tragedy], informed by knowledge he gained as a first-year medical student, brings this coming-of-age memoir to a suspenseful close. Many readers, including parents with children struggling to be treated as “normal,” will likely find Schonborn’s mother to be an inspiration.
An often instructive memoir, particularly for anyone seeking to help a young person overcome bullying’s crushing effects.”