by Jim Higgins
Published in 2012, Far From the Tree won a National Book Critics Circle award and other honors for its seriously researched exploration of how families raised children with disabilities and differences, including deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome and autism.
Now Simon & Schuster has published a young-adult edition of Solomon’s valuable book. Working with adapter Laurie Calkhoven, an experienced writer for children, Solomon has slimmed the text and moved the extensive footnotes and bibliography sections online.
Had I come to this book unaware, and it not been labeled a young-adult edition, I would never have known. Adult readers who may have been daunted by the size of the original book should welcome this more compact version.
…Given recent bathroom law controversies, his “Transgender” chapter is timelier than ever, with succinct explanations of such descriptors as gender fluid and genderqueer. Typical of this nuanced book, the transpeople he interviews have found, often after long struggles, individual solutions to identity and self-expression. Solomon’s conclusion to this chapter could sum up his belief about many of these differences: “It is time to focus on the child rather than the … label.”
(To read the full review, please visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.)