Monday, December 8, 2014

A BOOK TO TOUCH YOUR HEART, MIND AND SOUL

Having talked extensively with Max and his Mom, Rebecca, learning about Autism, what it is and what it isn't, and realizing that SO many people have misconceptions like I did, I became more and more involved with Max's unique perspective, began to see and understand a lot of things the way he did, and discovered an exceptionally smart, savvy, thoughtful and compassionate young lad with many talents and a great sense of humor. So when his Mom asked me to help edit Max's essays -- his thoughts and feelings on different things -- I jumped at the chance to be a part of this great book, which was totally Max's idea and project from the get go. His essays were either written by Max and then typed up by his Mom, or dictated to her while she typed. I corrected only spelling and punctuation, added a missing word here or removed an clone-word there . . . but I did not correct for grammar, for proper usage or anything like that. What you read in this book are Max's own eloquent words, his own insightful thoughts. And his artwork is often funny, sometimes frightening, and always moving. The way he describes his use of color, why he chose certain colors, and what each painting represents is pretty darn remarkable. When Max said he wanted my name on the cover, beneath his, "Edited by Joe Bonadonna," left me fishing around for words. I just did not know what so, except Thank You. I considered that not only a great compliment, but a real honor, too.
This book is exceptional and enlightening, and the fact that it is being translated into other languages, that public libraries, schools and churches and bookstores are carrying this book shows you just how it has truck a chord with so many people . . . and how Max has touched so many hearts and so many lives, for this is his hope -- to help those who can't help themselves, to be the voice of those who can't speak for themselves, to bring true awareness about Autism and those afflicted with it. Bravo, Max! Bravo!