ALICE HAS THE UPPER HAND
Alice is almost a regular eleven-year-old, but there are two things about her that are very unusual. One is that she hates potato chips. Seriously, she hates them! The other is that she was born with three arms! When Alice is faced with a difficult decision, she must question what it means to be a regular kid.
Diversity in children’s books is slowly becoming more reflective of today’s culture but there is still a tremendous gap where there should be quality books about disability. A quick online search shows that while in the US 10% of the population has some kind of disability, perhaps no group has been as overlooked and inaccurately represented in children's books. My disabled daughter needed a protagonist like Alice, so I created one for her and for all children everywhere.
An Adopted Girl's Search for Self
My mother surrendered me immediately upon my birth and it took six months for me to be placed with the family that became mine. My parents were already struggling, touched by trauma, depression, and infertility. I grew up an only child, feeling unwanted and unloved. I became a self-injurer and even attempted suicide. When I fell in love for the first time, the relationship ended in his suicide. In his last letter to me, he said he was condemning me to live, because he knew I could overcome. This colored my existence for a decade as I spiraled until I nearly died several times over. This memoir is part coming-of-age in New York City in the 80s and 90s set to a punk and goth soundtrack, part reunion story as I reconnect with my birth parents when my life comes to absolute rock bottom. When I lose them both too soon and become a parent myself, I learn the most valuable lesson of all: that I have been loved and wanted by all four of my parents all along and that my life is not a condemnation but rather a gift that I want to experience as thoughtfully as I possibly can.
Read an excerpt published by Pidgeonholes here.