Never has a mute character had so much to say. There Are No Words, the debut novel for autism advocate Mary Calhoun Brown, will be featured as an "Outstanding Book for Young People with Disabilities 2011" by IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People).
One copy of the book will be on permanent display in Norway, while a second copy will travel the world. The traveling expedition will launch at the Bologna International Book Festival.
There Are No Words is the story of Jaxon MacKenzie, a twelve-year-old girl who is autistic and non-verbal. One night she falls into an old oil painting in her grandparents' parlor and is transported to 1918 where she can speak for the first time. This unlikely hero then attempts to save her grandfather's best friend from the worst train wreck in U.S. history, and ultimately she must decide whether to stay in the past where she can speak or move on to her own future without words.
Brown said, "It's a story about the true value of friendship and how a little bit of kindness can impact so many lives. My goal with There Are No Words is to demystify hidden disabilities, like autism, for a time like this one-- a time in which a child on the autism spectrum is born every 20 seconds."
"Autism will affect more children this year than cancer or Down's Syndrome or diabetes combined. Peer education, acceptance and friendship are needed for this generation to support understanding and stop the bullying that goes hand-in-hand with those who have developmental disabilities."
Reviewers recommend There Are No Words for "all ages," and the book was recently honored at the Nashville Book Festival.
Brown offers a free curriculum guide to educators who assign There Are No Words to their classrooms. She is available for classroom visits in person and via Skype. Inquiries can be made at www.marycalhounbrown. com.
Books are available from the author's web site, at Amazon. com and Barnesandnoble. com.
IBBY is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
IBBY was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953, and today it is composed of seventy National Sections all over the world. IBBY's mission is to promote international understanding through children's books, to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards, to encourage the publication and distribution of quality children's books, to provide support and training for those involved with children and children's literature and to stimulate research and scholarly works in the field of children's literature.
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