28 January, 2014

Ghost Boy

I had trouble putting this non-fiction book down as I read it over the weekend. Written in first person, it is the story of a young man, Martin, who was once a normal boy, but at the age of 12 his mind and body shut down, so that he was still alive, but physically and mentally unable to interact with the world. 

Several years later he became aware of the world again, but was still trapped in an unresponsive body with no voice. No one could tell Martin had become aware again and he was stuck in this terrifying, helpless state for several years before one carer took an interest in him and eventually had him assessed by experts in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication, check out this link).

As a result of that assessment and a huge amount of hard work by the author and his parents, he became linked with the world again. He taught himself how to read and write, and gained regular employment. I won't spoil the end of the book for you, but it held me right to the last page!

This book reminds me of the non-fiction book, Annie's Coming Out by Rosemary Crossley and Anne McDonald, that was compulsory reading in my Occupational Therapy degree. It's been a while since I read it, but a similar story of an intelligent person who can't connect with the world because they can't communicate in anyway, until someone sees past the outward physical disability and finds a way to communicate with them. The big difference is that "Ghost Boy" was normal in every way until this unusual (and still undiagnosed) illness hit him. Interestingly it was something that seemed to erase all his former memories, like someone hit the delete button on his brain! To this day he can't remember anything of his childhood.

A very inspiring book that is worth a read.

Disclaimer: A complimentary electronic copy of this book was provided to me for review by Thomas Nelson Books http://BookSneeze.com. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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