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This one is about: Book Review - David's Story

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David's Story: A book about Surgery (Review)

by Benjamin Brink
published by Lerner Books

I heard about this book while reviewing other Lerner books on adoption issues. Right away I had to order one! This book is designed to talk to children about surgery in general by describing one child's surgical experience. As it so happens, this child's surgical experience is craniofacial.

David's birth condition is not explained, nor is it named in this book. It is simply very simply described. There are no infant, pre-surgical photos to help us to see the original birth condition. We begin with the child at age 7, getting ready to see his craniofacial team in preparation for another in a series of surgeries.

The back of the book reads, "David is seven years old. He lives in California with his parents and his little brother, Jonathon. When David was born there was a hole in the right side of his face. His eyes didn't line up above his nose. It was hard for David to see and breathe. He had to have an operation. Doctors rebuilt his face. David and his best friend, Casey, were friends before the operation, and they are friends after the operation. The only difference since the operation is that David looks more like the other children he knows."

This 32-page book is illustrated with actual photographs of David and his family. It is a simple step-by-step walk through the surgical experience for this one procedure. Some of the photographs were taken in the operating room of the actual surgeries. Although I did not find any of the photographs to be offensive, my son was concerned that they shaved David's head, and a younger child reading this book was concerned about one photograph that showed an incision, which included blood.

I was particularly impressed with the thorough way the experience was depicted on such a simplified level. The anticipation of a good result, the anxiety of preparations, and the difficulty of waiting were all in evidence. It did not begin and/or end in the operating room or in recovery. We were given the privilege of walking with the family from the point of decision to do the surgery, through preparations for the surgery, through the actual surgical experience, into recovery, and home again and back to school again. Maybe this book struck me more deeply than it might have, because it so clearly put into words and pictures a place I have been so many times with my own children.

At the end of the book is a very small glossary and some words of explanation about surgery in general.

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