Jonathan Bryan has broken free from his trapped world and shares with us his journey. He is an incredible young man of twelve years old. Along with his mother, they fight for Jonathan’s right to be heard, to be taught reading, writing, spelling and maths. Outwardly his body looks too damaged to be educated in a mainstream school. Inwardly Jonathon has an incredible mind. Unlike Stephen Hawkins who already had access to regular schooling before his illness took hold of his body and had shown his intelligence, Jonathon has no such claim to fame.
A determined hero
I am so glad Jonathan and his family have put pen to paper. Yes, it was a painstakingly slow process using a spelling board, but we need to know and see that disability does not stop the brain from wanting to learn. And we should not see the broken body as an excuse to refuse proper education to creative minds that are trapped within.
And what a mother – an unsung hero behind Jonathon who deserves an accolade too.
Don’t look at the disability see the potential
Jonathan’s book has the potential to change mindsets. To challenge the norm. How many other children and adults are trapped in a system that disregards and dismisses the disabled their rights. Why should only the likes of Stephen Hawkins have centre stage when Jonathan Bryan has lived in his silent world since he was born.
This book is brilliant especially as it is the voice of a twelve-year-old. It is intelligent, well written and has beautiful poetry as chapter openings. All educators of special needs and mainstream schools as well and professionals involved with the care of disabled children ought to read this book. We must all champion their cause. If we don’t then, we are failing the geniuses of the future who could change our world.
About the Author
Jonathan Bryan has severe cerebral palsy, a condition that makes him incapable of voluntary movement or speech. He was locked inside his own mind, aware of the outside world but unable to fully communicate with it until he found a way by using his eyes to laboriously choose individual letters, and through this make his thoughts known.
In Eye can Write, we read of his intense passion for life, his mischievous sense of fun, his hopes, his fears and what it’s like to be him. This is a powerful book from an incredible young writer whose writing ability defies age or physical disability – a truly inspirational figure.
Let’s hear from Jonathan as no words speak louder than the authors.
“All my life, people have done things for me. I am washed, dressed, fed via a tube and wheeled around. Now I have found my voice, I want to use it to help other children to read and write so that they can communicate with the world. My body is weak, but my desire to make a difference for children like me is very strong.”
Thank you, Jonathan, for writing this inspirational book.
A moment of anger and my life changed forever. Shocked eyes gazed at me as I realized the scale of my actions. Nothing could take away my fist punching explosion that made twelve placid ladies jump from their seats. My reaction to a statement that contradicted my self-knowledge appeared disturbingly extreme.
That moment of anger changed my life
The door closed on my tranquil life, and I would never return to live there again. That moment of anger had risen from the depths of my childhood. All the sad memories wrapped up in one deadly time bomb. It stripped me of my vocation and flung me into the world again. I may have had my limbs intact, unlike Michael the main character in All of You, but my heart felt crushed beyond repair. Now what?
Michael’s life changed, and he knew more than one moment of anger as he strived to rebuild his life. Michael is a hero. Unfortunately, I am not! But he too asked the question “now what?”
Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.
After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.
With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.
Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.
My Penny’s worth
1944 or modern day
All of you is an interesting story about two eras. I was surprised that I related more with the modern day saga than to the WW2 drama. Maybe it was the strong central character Michael who captivated me with his vulnerability. That macho Navy Pilot who had it all then dramatically lost everything in a freak accident. How I felt for him!
What I liked
Jack, a woman after my own heart, a girl from a male dominated family – I could identify with her and the struggles she had with overprotective brothers. Michael and Jack at times need their heads knocked together, even if self-sacrifice appears the better choice. I loved the sweet touches that at times had the pair believing they had a future together then moments later the barriers crash down. Michael’s courage and faith shine through but there is a moment of anger when he lets rip, only one you say, I am sure there were others!
What I felt it lacked.
Some of the story for me, unfortunately, left little surprise and I could figure out what would happen, especially in the 1944 tale. There were niggles in this storyline which at times distracted the enjoyment – but that is just me.
Oh that word “Bloke”, I dislike this used by a gentlewoman of the period. “Chap” would have been more in keeping with her background and class. Some others I won’t mention. Otherwise, they will ruin the plot apart from saying the book tended to be too neat in its solutions to various situations. Having said that I did enjoy the way Sarah Monzon’s chapters ended leaving me wanting to turn the next page!
What the book provides
This book gives an insight into a sudden traumatic event that tears the life out of a high flyer. The reader is subjected to the emotions of a fallen hero who no longer knows his worth. Michael’s protective nature is compromised due to his disability – can he be the man he once was? You will have to read All of You to find out!
There is also the bravery of a woman who wants to “do her bit” in the war. The information on the ATA (Air Transport Auxilary) was interesting and will no doubt be new to some readers. It made a change having women winning the war instead of the men!
The book also shares the message of trusting in God no matter what the life circumstances.
Don’t forget to put it on your holiday read list.
Thank you, Sarah Monzon, for writing this book.
*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*
About the Author
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.
Guest Post from Sarah Monzon
I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.
In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.
I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.
So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.