When I wrote My Sister, Alicia May, I had a specific reader in mind. Surprisingly, I didn't write solely for the Alicia Mays out there in the world. While I did want to give a voice to those children who have Down syndrome, I wanted to reach the child who was the brother or sister of "Alicia," that child who has a tremendous responsibility in life--caring for and loving and defending and, yes, sometimes just coping with a sibling with special needs. And I wanted to tell them that they are special too, as the narrator, Rachel, in my story comes to understand.
While my first book was published in 2009, it continues to reach the very kids for whom I was writing. Sometimes I receive a note from the families who have just found my book. Other times I find an email in my box from a family updating me on their lives. This is one of those updates from the Hawley family, and it is my privilege to be part of their classroom experience in some small way. After all I write for days like these. I hope you enjoy Stuart and Alice as much as I have!