Bryan Lambke is a young man with Down Syndrome. Using pictures from the family album, Bryan shares what it is like to have Down Syndrome and what being normal and having a disability means to him. I Just Am offers a close up look at one young man with Down Syndrome sharing both the things that make him different and also the multitude of things that make him like other boys. In addition, it has information sections that parents can use to answer any questions their children have. This is a terrific introduction to Down Syndrome.
If your family includes someone with Down syndrome, you and your children probably know much of what this book has to share, but it's always heartwarming to know that you're not alone in your journey. If your family does not include someone with Down syndrome, you'll probably learn a lot you didn't know. It will help everyone understand and perhaps break barriers so that you can learn to be more accepting of people with disabilities.
Eclectic Homeschool Online
...Bryan was born with Down syndrome.
Throughout the book written by Lambke, with the help of his father, he explains what Down Syndrome is and his feelings about growing up with this disability. Lambke states, "Down Syndrome is having an extra chromosome. It makes me look different than others. I don't feel different. I just am."
I Just Am is a poignant look into the life of someone living with Down syndrome. Throughout the book you can sense Lambke's confusion and frustration at being treated differently. Yet despite the obstacles, he is now twenty-three years old, works two jobs and has met two mayors and a governor as well as numerous celebrities. Readers will come away knowing more about Down syndrome as well as what day-to-day life is like for someone like Lambke...
May 10, 2007
"I Janet Napolitano, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby salute I JUST AM - PROMOTING DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS AND TOLERANCE and Bryan Lambke and his family and friends for providing all of us with an insight into his world and inspiring us with his life."
Governor of the State of Arizona
full text of the official proclamation
...from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe Arizona:
School Library Journal
"...Bryan, who wrote the book along with his dad, speaks candidly about his disability, "It is not my fault. I just am." This active young man has an infectious personality; he knows that he's not stupid, but acknowledges that he is slow. He knows that he does not look "normal," but questions just what that means... 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."
Indian Valley Public Library
Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information
"The interview was fabulous!
Thanks for bringing your world to us,"
CK Today - CFCO
September 12, 2006
"...I would like to thank you both for your presentation at our school. Your story is very special and had a lasting impression on our school's students, teachers, and parents. The feedback to date has been nothing short of amazing..."
Bright Beginnings Charter School
"...it's an honest and often funny account of living with a disability..."
Canada's Lifestyle Magazine For People With Disabilities
"This book is an illustration of how people with Down syndrome can embrace life and its challenges. The picture and caption format will also make it accessible to teenagers with Down syndrome who would like to read about someone like themselves."
Down's Voice - a journal of the Down Syndrome Association of Victoria, Australia
Editor & Information Officer
Down Syndrome Association of Victoria Inc
Dear Bryan and Tom,
It has been such a wonderful experience for me and for the students at ASU to have the privilege of sharing your lives and hearing your stories. Overtime, the ASU students will probably not remember me, but they will certainly remember both of you. As a teacher (and human being), it's exciting and heart-warming to watch as the two of you make significant differences in the thinking, feelings, and lives of the pro-service teachers you touch.
It is an honor to know both of you. You both have accomplished much and given much to others. In today's world, it is refreshing and reinforcing to know that others carry the message regarding how much we are GIVEN when our lives intersect with the lives of students with disabilities. It is also a wonderful feeling to know that there are many of us who continue to carry the torch for students with disabilities in terms of who they are and what they CAN do. The challenge in my life as a teacher of students with disabilities has always been working with those who do not have one!!! And, I assume you know exactly what that feels like.
Each student will write a summary and I will share those with you. But I couldn't let another day go by without thanking you both from the bottom of my heart.
Barbara McLoone, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
College of Education
"In a book that is both charming and disarming, Bryan Lambke, a young man with Down syndrome, invites readers into his world, where he has the same dreams and emotions as everyone else. "I have a disability," Bryan says. "It is not my fault. I just am." Bryan and his father, Tom Lambke, help readers examine what is normal in "I Just Am". The book has information about Down syndrome and insights aimed at debunking old myths."
"A snapshot of life, from the perspective of a person who has Down syndrome, Bryan Lambke enchants the reader in his insightful and heartwarming biography, I Just Am. This new book is a powerful reminder that society must unselfishly reflect on the definition of 'normal' for the betterment of human kind. The most instrumental tool to-date for advancing inclusion, I Just Am, is an absolute must for all school and public libraries."
Author of Understanding How Children with Down Syndrome Learn
"What impacts me most about Bryan is the unconditional love that he has for his family and friends and vice versa! What a wonderful world this would be if we could all live by his example. Live life to the fullest. Don't let challenges hold you back. Go for it!
"I JUST AM" is an insightful and endearing look into the differences and sameness that we ALL share. Isn't it amazing that we aren't that different at all?
I know that "special" is not a term that should apply to those with Down Syndrome. However, to me, Bryan IS special! A special gift from GOD."
on-air radio personality from 10am-2pm
93.3FM, KDKB in Arizona
I Just Am was recently selected for Brad Perry's Book Club. Brad is a TV personality for KTVK Channel 3's program Good Morning Arizona.
Brad's Book Club
Good Morning Arizona
KTVK Channel 3
Pictured left are Brad Perry and Bryan Lambke
at the Best Buddies fundraiser at Baskin
Robbins 31 Flavors in Chandler, AZ
Photo credit: Linda F. Radke
"I'm glad we were able to provide Tom and Bryan an opportunity to inform our listeners about their uplifting story. They were both great guests!" Doug Miles "Suncoast Magazine"
WIBQ Radio Sarasota, FL
"Everyone who encounters this powerful book will have their lives immeasurably enriched. It will make you feel...understand...and wonder. 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"!
We 'look away' out of politeness and uncertainty when we really long to see. The extraordinary and revealing photos make this possible.
This book of triumph, victory and success makes us wonder about the value and purpose of every life. Tom's awesome writing talent brings Bryan's story to life—and it makes us confront the truth—that we all "just are"...TOGETHER!"
Director and Founder
Ahead With Horses, Inc.
(37 years of loving and learning from children with Down syndrome)
"As Bryan and Tom so movingly reveal, obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal."
Chris Burke, actor
"The greatest gift our children teach us is to have unconditional love. Bryan Lambke has taught his father well what it means to truly love and accept all people for who they are."
Gina Johnson, President/Founder
Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona, Inc.
"This book is a celebration of family, life, and love."
Tempe/Kyrene Special Educator of the Year 2002-2003
"I Just Am is an extraordinary, honest, and real-life look at a young man's journey as he overcomes great obstacles to achieve incredible feats."
Mark Villa, Chandler Special Olympics Head Coach,
former Chandler Therapeutic Recreation Program Coordinator
"This book provides a wonderful glimpse into Bryan's life and provides insight about the uniqueness and sameness of us all."
Dr. Patty Vogel, Director of Educational Services
Tempe Union High School District
"I laughed and cried through I Just Am. ... It is a book that can change ignorance and typecasting."
TaMarla Forrest, Special Education Department Chair
Corona del Sol High School
"Bryan has a dynamic spirit and takes on the challenges that life presents to us all, as well as those that are uniquely his, with courage, humor, and determination. ...Bryan demonstrates the theme of this book every moment of his life."
Steven N. Shively, Ph.D., School Psychologist
Corona del Sol High School
"...I Just Am perfectly illustrates the essence of what it means to have Down syndrome. (Tom Lambke) is hardworking and very creative. He is making a difference, because he just is, too."
Janet Giel-Romo, President, DSNetwork Arizona &:
Special Education Teacher
Carl Hayden High School
ISBN: 978-1-58985-080-4, Five Star Publications, Inc.
Phone 480-940-8182 / Toll-free 866-471-0777
Websites: www.DownSyndromeBook.com and www.IJustAmBook.com
Publication Date: 2006