Reviewer Andrea Coventry: Andrea is a Montessori child - turned educator. An avid reader and writer, she is published on several websites. Click Here to find a listing of Andrea's sites where you can find many of her writing contributions.
Author: Mary Jo Nickum
Publisher: Chalet Publishers, LLC
Mom's Story: A Child Learns About MS by Mary Jo Nickum is told from the point of view of young Amy, whose mother is about to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She notices that there is something wrong with her mother, as Mom starts falling, dropping things, forgetting things, and finally starts to lose her eyesight.
A rushed trip to the hospital and a barrage of testing by a neurologist reveals that Mom has MS. Dr. Miller provides a detailed explanation of the condition to Amy and her siblings. Together, the family researches MS, and orders a bunch of resources. They also begin to share information with their friends.
The story, itself, demonstrates some of the fear and confusion felt by children when dealing with medical uncertainty with parents. The reactions and calm approach of the parents provides a good role model for those who are going through this diagnosis. Also beneficial in the story is an extensive list of MS resources for families.
Following the story is a wealth of information. In the chapter where Dr. Miller explains MS to Amy and her siblings, many of the medical terms are boldfaced as they are defined. The glossary in the back of the book provides even more definition. Next are more facts about MS: the types, the symptoms, and an explanation of an MRI. Finally, there is a list of organizations, books listed by age of the intended audience, and a few DVDs.
While this book is not the ultimate guide for the family dealing with a new diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, it is a great foundation. Families can read it together, then follow the lead of the characters and embark upon researching together, using the provided resources as a starting point. It's also at an appropriate level for children in elementary school. I would love to see some follow-up books by this author, who was diagnosed with MS, herself, over 20 years ago.