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by Adrienne Petterson © 2006     About Me

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Letters to Sam - A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life
by Daniel Gottlieb
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
ISBN 1-4027-2883-2
Published April 2006 - Hardcover - 176 pages - $17.95

Imagine you have so much to say to someone so very young and impressionable.  You want to prepare them for almost everything that life's going to throw at them as best you can.  The youngster is your grandson and means the world to you.  Enter Dr. Dan Gottlieb's grandson Sam.  Sam has autism.  Dan Gottlieb is in a wheelchair and has been a quadriplegic for twenty five years.  He and Sam have a bond.  A connection.  This book is a collection of letters Dr. Gottlieb wrote to Sam.  They are about love, family members, Dan's history, Sam's parents, tolerance, anger, growing up, dying and more, much of what we all have to face, endure, or experience.  His letters are written with so much love and tenderness, they'll bring a lump to your throat.  They're lessons all parents should teach their children.  Sadly though, many children don't get anything remotely as attentive or as loving.  Many times parents just don't have the time - this is when I say, "If you don't have time, don't have children".  They deserve nothing less.  Dr. Gottlieb's love for his grandson is spiritually beautiful and his letters will serve as reminders to all parents of what they should be teaching their children.  Perhaps this is the "handbook to life" we've been waiting for!  No matter how different we all are, and we are, we are more often than not, very much the same.  Royalties from this book go to Cure Autism Now (  Visit Dr. Gottlieb's website at
See my review of Dr. Gottlieb's later book, Learning from the Heart.
Conclusion - Uplifting and sentimental and beautiful.  I love the Road Maps chapter.

"Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my book.  I am touched that you really captured the sentiment behind the words.  In Judaism there is a concept of an "ethical will", in which elders are supposed to document what they have learned and how they have learned it and pass this wisdom on to their progeny.  It is a gift for both generations.  “Letters to Sam”, in part, represents my ethical will.  In part, it is a love story to my grandson and it is also partly my prayer for the world.  My prayer is that the world Sam grows up in will be softer and kinder than today's world.  A world in which people see one another and see each other's humanity, not their differences."  Dr. Dan Gottlieb

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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