Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs

Chicken Soup for the SoulChicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not sure how to rate this. It's actually more of a 2.5. It's hard for me to rate this because Who in the world gives a TWO STARS to a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, for heaven's sake!? Chicken Soup for the Soul's are all the same model and format. And they follow that to appeal to a certain audience -- and they have been amazingly successful. I read a few as a teenager myself. So, I guess I knew that coming in, but despite my knowledge of the type of book -- and my predetermined idea that I didn't want to read it...I did -- more for research sake I suppose. To see what's out there, you have to read what's out there...I guess. Perhaps I just need to stop reading books about special needs. Maybe it's all my problem here.

When I read My Baby Rides the Short Bus, I felt it was too hard, too depressing, and too cyncical. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs was just too soft, too fluffy, and too chipper. Again, it follows the Chicken Soup format, so it works. But for me, the short stories of inspiration weren't enough. True, some of the stories were inspiring and uplifting. No question. But I had so many questions that a small page long story couldn't answer.

Overall, inspiring, sure. But as a parent reading it, I felt it was too...happy? Oh, does that sound like I'm a miserable person or what?! As if I like to wallow in my self-pity or something.... Unreal. That's what it was. Because it was almost entirely happy, uplifting, and cheerful, I felt it was a little unreal and didn't give a good picture of the joys of special needs kids -- because afterall, we need to experience sorrow to experience joy. When it was all just seemed unrealistic. But, one more time, these books never claim to be more than a cheerful ray of sunshine, and if you read it a little here and a little there instead of novel style, it probably has a different effect.

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