Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free
Our Rating
not rated  
Book Title
Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free
Author
Publisher
Zondervan
Release Date
September 7, 2010
Pages
208
Price
$14.29
Buy Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free from Amazon

Early on in Emily Colson's memoir about raising her son—Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free (Zondervan)—she writes, "Max is not a burden; he is my greatest gift." This autistic child, who cried most hours of the day as an infant, had long tantrums as a boy, and now has trouble forming words as a young man—surely this child is a burden. But he's not. Max, now 19, is a gift, not only according to his mother but to all of us who are invited into his story.

Colson believes Max "brings out the best and worst in humanity, from the rudest of remarks to the most genuine acts of selflessness. No one remains neutral." For instance, Colson recounts the breakdown of her marriage when Max was only 18 months old. Although the father later formed a strong relationship with his son, it appears that the intensity of Max's early needs wedged the couple apart.

Parallel to this breakdown is Colson's growing relationship with her father, Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship. Charles's words in the prologue and epilogue, in which he writes about a relationship that has taught him humility, joy, and love, serve to bracket his daughter's.

Emily Colson implies throughout that people's reactions to Max depends on their perspective. For instance, when Max is in a public school, one teacher says, "I can't see him writing his whole last name. Are we really going to spend the entire year trying to teach him to write the first letter of his last name?" A few months later, with Max in a new school, Colson approaches the new teacher timidly, saying, "I think he's going to write." The teacher responds, "Well, that's great. Because I know he's going to write."

Members of Colson's community respond to Max, from calling him ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only The Apostle of the Golden Age
Classics scholar Sarah Ruden says extraordinary things happen when you read Paul alongside other ancient literature.
RecommendedThe Very Worst Trend Ever
Subscriber Access Only The Very Worst Trend Ever
How our love of brokenness actually fails us.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickHow Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
How Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars
Peer-reviewed research intensifies parenting debates… and can leave us even more confused.
Christianity Today
A Gifting Child
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.