Title: Markie and the Hammond Cousins
Author: Wanda M. Yoder
Series: Hammond Cousins series, book 1
Major Themes: Down Syndrome, Christian Living
Synopsis: When their cousin with Down Syndrome moves close to them, the Hammond cousins must learn to love him and help him.
Markie and the Hammond Cousins is a lovely story of how the preteen children in a large extended family learn to love and accept a cousin with Down Syndrome when his family moves to their area. It was hard to take the news at first; the cousins saw Markie as a problem, and did not like the idea of having to see him so often. However, Uncle Jerry told them that he would only be a problem if they made him a problem. As Uncle Jerry pointed out, we all have a handicap in our own way.
As the story unfolds, various of the cousins are thrust into a situation where they must interact with Markie on a personal level. Watch as their parents and uncle help them to see ways in which they can learn to help and love Markie, and see how Markie responds to the love. Along the way, each of the cousins learns a lot about life and learns lessons for their own life.
If you want a good character-building story, Markie and the Hammond Cousins is a good choice. It is well-written and natural, not at all preachy.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12
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