Kim has written a great story with a powerful message for children who stutter. Her writing and dialogue from the perspective of a child is so genuine. The concept of “interrupt-it is” is very funny. The story provides a practical suggestion that children can try and hopefully have success, just like Superhero Melissa. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I highly recommend this book for children who stutter and their families, teachers and speech-language pathologists.
Lisa Avery, M.H. Sc., RSLP
Sr. Instructor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education
School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC
As a professional who works with kids who stutter, I am always on the lookout for positive representations of stuttering in the books and stories. So I was thrilled to discover Adventures of a Stuttering Superhero. The book’s main character is confident and unashamed of her speech, even when faced with challenging social situations that nearly all children who stutter will be able to relate to. It’s important for kids who stutter to see positive images of stuttering that promote self-acceptance and self-affirmation so that they feel like they can be their own stuttering superheroes!
Ryan Millager, M.S. CCC-SLP
SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young
“ After reading Lisa Avery’s review in my BCASLPA newsletter, I ordered my own copy from Chapters at one of their store computers. It arrived 10 days later. This book, first in a series, is deceptively brilliant. Deceptive, because each page tells a valuable lesson in how any child with a stutter experiences school, friendships and problem solving – in this case, the constant interruptions by an impatient, possibly well-meaning boy who finishes her sentences for her.
Using gentle language and a positive tone, including the terms ‘smooth speech’ and ‘bumpy speech’ from the child-friendly Lidcombe Parent Training Program for Fluency used worldwide, the story unfolds with sympathetic adults who want to help, but don’t know how. In the end, this superhero solves her own problem, in a simple stroke of genius. The children – and all who read this book – learn a valuable lesson in inclusion and how to be a helpful friend to a person who stutters. The theme fits Diversity and Social Justice themes in BC’s new school curriculum.
This book would be an excellent addition to school libraries, the toolkits of all Speech Language Pathologists and Counsellors in schools, and Teacher and SLP education programs. Close inspection of each illustration by Cheryl Cameron shows a society where everyone is welcome and human rights are part of daily life. Subtle multicultural details on each page show Canada at its best.
Although parents, like the loving mother in the book, may already know how the book ends, they may welcome having a copy on hand to show any new playmates or relatives ‘what not to do’ in a way that the deliberately childish illustrations underline sweetly – Positive Behaviour Support in action!
I look forward to the rest of the books in the series, and at such a reasonable price -in $Cdn
John Scott, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist with Lidcombe training , Nanaimo, BC “
Read your book to four classes this morning. All of them, from kindergarten to grade five, enjoyed the story, and all of us acknowledge that we are too quick to interrupt others. There are a few students in our classes who stutter, and your book gives them a hero to identify with. This is very positive.
Thank you for bringing the issue of interrupting to our attention. I think it helps students to realize that we need to give other people a chance to speak, and also serves as a reminder to we adults that children do have important things to share with us.
Elementary School Librarian
Forest Grove Elementary
Review Book #3
This new addition to the Stuttering Superhero series has all the feels!
Melissa, our 10-year-old stuttering superhero, discovers another superpower and in the process conquers another fear.
The story book highlights many important themes in parenting and/or working with children who stutter:
- mentorship, stuttering role models and parent support;
- making space to talk about feelings and fears;
- desensitization (start small and work your way up);
- Fake-it-‘til-you-feel it—it’s a process;
- Self-talk affects your success. The rhyme/mantra associated with the superpower is an easily adopted reminder.
I have used these books with my pediatric clients who stutter. They love finding a character just like them. The life lessons are engagingly illustrated. Reading aloud the s-s-stuttered speech of Melissa can be a powerful method of desensitizing and introducing voluntary stuttering. Sharing the books with classmates goes a long way to teaching others about stuttering and respect for differences.
Caroline Bredeson, M.Sc.(A.)
Speech-language Pathologist, Reg. CASLPO
Coordinator, stuttering treatment program
Interprofessional Clinic at Perley-Rideau
I read the book to my students this afternoon and everyone loves your story…It is such a wonderful book that kids can make lots of connections to their own lives.
Elementary School Teacher, Grade 3/4
We read your book yesterday during Library time.
I just want to let you know how engaged the kids are, and how they’re able to make some connections with the book. I love it! Great work!
Elementary School Teacher, Kindergarten
As the parent of a fledgling stuttering superhero, my family and I love reading and re-reading Kim Block’s new book. As my daughter learns to embrace her identity as a person who stutters, and comes to better know the strengths she has to offer others, she recognizes many similarities between herself and Melissa: They both have a strong desire to connect with others and be ‘helpers’ or young leaders. They both enjoy problem solving, and are creative thinkers.
Melissa has many gifts to offer us, including her kind, honest approach to helping us ‘fluenters’ learn how to overcome our bouts of Interrupt-itis.
In my experience as an elementary classroom teacher as well, I love how Adventure #1 beautifully illustrates the idea that as communities we can (and do!) support and celebrate diversity. Melissa has the strength within to navigate difficult moments in her life, and to help others grow and learn how they can be members of supportive, caring communities. The young children I teach respond so positively to Melissa’s experiences, and to how she explores her community of helpers on her quest to cure Interrupt-itis.
Adventures of a Stuttering Superhero – Adventure #1 Interrupt-itis is a must read aloud for every classroom and for every family who stutters. It celebrates the Superhero in each of us.
Classroom Teacher, Richmond BC
Amazon Reviews by Speech Language Pathologists (SLP)
(click on the review to enlarge)
This book is beautifully written and illustrated. Both of my daughters have enjoyed reading this book. My oldest use to stutter when she was in grade 1 and 2 and so she related well with the story. My youngest is profoundly deaf and attends the BC School for the Deaf where Kim works. And so she was very excited to read a book written by someone who she personally knows. Overall, we appreciated the story line of how the main character problem solved an issue where it became a learning experience for everyone in the classroom. And we love how the book embraces diversity to demonstrate that our community is made up of a variety of different people.
Gwen Wong, Parent of 2 Girls ages 14 and 8, Vancouver, BC
Review for Adventures of a Person who Stutters.
“The author’s background in human relations and experience as a person who stutters comes together very well in this workbook. As a clinician, I appreciate that clients at different ages and stages of acceptance can complete aspects of this workbook by themselves or in sessions. The aspects of reflection chosen by the author are relevant and important. I believe that this workbook will help the reader reflect on the impact of stuttering on their lives and ways that they can change this impact. The exercises can easily be incorporated into therapy sessions as well. As a clinical educator, I see value in this workbook as a tool for beginning students to introduce and discuss difficult topics during therapy sessions.”
Anu Subramanian, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Education in SLP
Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic
Dept of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Iowa