Knowing Joseph – Review and Contest!

Judith Mammay’s debut novel, Knowing Joseph, opens with a little kid making a scene in a bowling alley parking lot. Brian Bertram walks away from him. “I’m glad I don’t know that kid!” he says. 

But the boy kicking and screaming and throwing himself on the ground is Brian’s autistic brother, Joseph.   So begins Brian’s struggle — to deal with his brother, to defend him, and ultimately, with the help of a surprising new friend, to understand him.

Judith — Judy, to her friends and

on LJ– is one of my online critique partners.  I always enjoy her writing, so I picked up JOSEPH expecting to like it. I wasn’t disappointed, and I was especially taken with the details that let readers see Joseph as a real person and not just “the kid with autism.”  Judy has an autistic grandson, and that was important to her.  Knowing Joseph is a natural book choice for older siblings of autistic kids, since Brian grows to model so many caring, supportive strategies for helping his brother.  It’s a great title for schools, too, because it helps readers understand what’s behind scenes like the temper tantrum at the bowling alley.  And understanding leads to acceptance.

This book has many of the same themes as Cynthia Lord’s Rules, one of my favorites.  Knowing Joseph is probably geared toward a slightly younger audience, though.  I’m guessing the 8-10 crowd will like it best, and it has nice big print and plenty of white space so reluctant readers won’t be intimidated.  Kudos to the BTP design team for making sure this book will be accessible to kids with special needs, too.

 If you’d like to win an ARC of Knowing Joseph, just leave a comment below about why you’d like to read it (or with whom you’d like to share it).  I’ll choose a name at random Friday night at 6pm EST to win!

12 Replies on “Knowing Joseph – Review and Contest!

  1. Such a gorgeous cover. I love books with sibling conflict, so this sounds like my kind of book. (Not to mention the fact that tempers run high in 2 of my kids.) Please enter me in the contest, and I promise I’ll let my twelve-year-old have a chance to read it, after me, of course!

  2. Please Pick Me!

    I’d love to read “Knowing Joseph” because I am a Cub Leader and our pack take pride in being ‘special-kid-friendly’. I love to learn about the various problems children in our Group might have, (autism is not a new subject around here!) and share strategies with our other leaders. I’d share it with my Cub pack. They are 8-11 and we LOVE to read aloud. I also do some Writer’s Club activities with like-minded Cubs, so having an ARC would be a big thrill for them. Thank you for having this contest, even if I don’t win!

  3. I’d love to read it–my daughter’s best friend’s brother is autistic, and they bowl every weekend with a group of autistic children and their siblings.

  4. I’d love to read the book because every kid knows what it is like to want to hide a family problem or disassociate themselves from someone with special needs. I don’t think enough books that deal with this type of family dynamic. I can’t wait to see where you take it!

  5. Congratulations!! You won the KNOWING JOSEPH drawing! Please email me your name and address so I can send your book. (kmessner (no spaces) at katemessner dot com)