Some of what the Hartford Book Examiner had to say about How David Met Sarah:
"As the book’s subtitle (a very special love story) suggests, it’s a romantic predicament that demands much of the story’s focus. Indeed, David becomes infatuated with the new girl in town. (If only he could meet her!) Her name is Sarah, and she attends his church, occasionally eats at his favorite restaurant, and even considers joining his recreation group. Sarah is also Autistic.
The fact that Sarah doesn’t speak, at least not in the traditional sense (she communicates through sign), and seldom makes eye contact does little to dissuade David from believing that she is the girl of his dreams. Rather, he is convinced that they are meant to be together, and his attempts to make that happen are both heart-warming and humorous. This romantic angst will resonate with readers of all ages who have experienced the pains and pleasures of falling in love.
While David’s affections for Sarah may be the crux of the story, Kelleher offers several sub-plots of equal importance. She explores complex issues - impropriety in the workplace, bullying, familial discord, stereotyping, etc. – in deceptively simple prose. (I am reminded of a writer acquaintance who once said, “Easy reading makes for damn hard writing.”) Each is dealt with delicately but provides the opportunity for a teachable moment; they also illuminate the struggles faced by individuals and their caretakers.
How David Met Sarah is an important book on multiple levels. First, and perhaps foremost, it gives developmentally disabled readers an accessible, age and content-appropriate story to enjoy and a relatable protagonist to root for. Second, it provides parents, educators and caretakers a rare resource that not only entertains but also exposes the realities of what it’s like to live with a disability. If knowledge is power, then sharing that knowledge is empowerment - both for the messenger and the recipient.
Ultimately, though, How David Met Sarah’s greatest achievement may be something far simpler (and yet equally profound): It reminds us that, no matter our background, we all desire the same things in life – and that a sense of love and belonging is chief among them. It’s a true testament to Anne Kelleher’s skill as a writer (and passion as an advocate) that she manages to accomplish so much in such a slender volume. While "ground-breaking" is not a term to be used lightly, How David Met Sarah is deserving of such praise, and so much more
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