FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patty Lavelle, Five Star Publications, Inc.
Phone: 402-523-6403 / fax 866-634-8415
New book teaches acceptance
Young man with Down syndrome asks "What is normal?"
"...you will find Bryan's story to be a gift to you and those you love. It will enrich your lives and give you a better understanding and appreciation of how truly special these "special children" are."
–Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
"Everyone who encounters this powerful book will have their lives immeasurably enriched…In an era of triviality, superficiality and banality we long to feel-and the hope disclosed by Tom and Bryan in
I Just Am is realized. You will "hug yourself"!"
–Liz Helms, Director and Founder, Ahead With Horses, Inc.,
(37 years of loving and learning from children with Down syndrome)
"This engaging and helpful book updates older titles that might describe people as "suffering from" or being "afflicted with" mental retardation. Weed those and replace them with this one."
–Linda Beck, School Library Journal
Bryan Lambke was born in 1981 with Down syndrome, a disability that affects children in one of every 800-1,000 births. Bryan, with the help of his father Tom, has just authored I Just Am, a book that is both charming and disarming, one that offers an insight into his world.
An avid sports enthusiast, Bryan was just eight years old when he first competed in the track and field events of the Illinois Special Olympics. Fourteen years later, he stood atop the winner's platform at the 2003 International Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland. He is drawn to the competition, camaraderie, and acceptance he finds in the Special Olympics.
Elsewhere throughout his life, however, Bryan has had to endure the stares and whispers of those insensitive to his feelings. And he wants you to know that he does have feelings. I Just Am is a collection of photos of Bryan as he's grown up accompanied by Bryan's observations and questions that provide a window into his world.
"I have a disability," says Bryan. "It is not my fault. I just am." The book shows readers that Bryan has the same emotions, likes and dislikes, and aspirations as everyone else. "Isn't that normal?" he asks. Then he points out that he doesn't steal, put on an act, or try to deceive. Would that we were all that normal.
Bryan, now 23 years old, holds down two jobs, loves swimming, playing basketball, and bowling, has two girlfriends, and loves to sing and dance. Most of all, he wants to be accepted, and that's why he and his dad wrote I Just Am-A Story of Down Syndrome Awareness & Tolerance. In addition to Bryan's story, the book includes some insightful information about Down syndrome that is sure to debunk some old myths. The book also features a foreword by Shannon D. R. Ringenbach, Ph.D., from Arizona State University's Department of Kinesiology, and a special introduction by Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose sister had Down syndrome.
I Just Am (ISBN 978-1-58985-080-4, non-fiction) is published by Five Star Publications, Inc., and is available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. To schedule an interview, please contact Patty Lavelle, Publicist at 402-523-6403.