Book Club Kit
A Joyful Embrace: A Memoir is the perfect book for your book club. It is an honest and raw journey of one family living with a disabled child that illustrates her profound effects on parents, siblings, and community – you will gain a deep understanding of why her life mattered and consequently why every single life is important.
Mimi, a young adult with cerebral palsy, was taken far too soon. Though wheelchair-bound with the mental capacity of a delightful two-year-old her entire life, her extraordinary social and spiritual gifts changed hearts and challenged what is "normal" for those she encountered. Her mother struggled to help Mimi achieve her fullest potential, learning to become a fierce advocate.
Book Club Discussion Questions
Were you surprised at the chapter with the CPS visit? We know that teachers must report suspected abuse. Do you think the teachers were correct in this case? Do you believe teachers are trained on what an interaction with CPS? Did you
know about the impact on families that are reported to CPS?
Does the author’s art quilt on the book cover translate to the book title? What does an “embrace” look like? Any suggestions on how it could have been something different?
Do the black and white photographs in the book help tell Mimi’s story? For example: reading a description about what a body cast looks like vs. seeing the photo.
Were you surprised that the state of Texas is 49th when it comes to the care of their most vulnerable population? Have you heard of a state that does so much better than Texas?
Do the humor columns take away, or help, tell Mimi’s story?
What did you think about the inclusion of Mimi in Miss Keeling’s class at Deerwood Elementary School? What is your experience with those with special needs?
Were Mimi’s middle school challenges (i.e., timeout for throwing crayons and no hugging allowed) representative of what it is like for those without disabilities in middle school?
Was Chapter 17 difficult for you to read? Why do you think the author decided to write this part of the book?
Has there been a time in your life when you had to be an advocate for your child?
What do people with disabilities have to teach us? Do you believe they have a right to life, respect, and dignity to live their best lives?
Author Visit for Your Book Club
If your book club is in the Houston area, I'd love to visit and help facilitate your discussion of A Joyful Embrace: A Memoir. I look forward to hearing from you!