THE UNSTOPPABLE JAMIE
By: Joy Givens
Illustrated by: Courtney Dawson
Published: September 12, 2023
Publisher: Two Lions
The author chose to write THE UNSTOPPABLE JAMIE after her own son, Joshua, with Down Syndrome. Jamie likes to imagine he is a superhero, especially when he is struggling with a situation like too much noise or when it’s too crowded. Jamie puts on his superhero cape and maybe some headphones and he is a superhero who can manage anything.
When Jamie and his family get the opportunity to travel to New York City for the Buddy Walk® and have his photo in Times Square, he is super excited and can’t wait. Unfortunately, he isn’t prepared for the loud and dark subway, the crowded sidewalks, and all the noises from the vehicles. When he realizes he left his special gadget behind on the subway, his family helps him through the unfamiliar sounds and places. But ultimately, Jamie realizes he can learn to manage these difficult situations because he is strong and brave.
Jamie gets to spend time with his family and new friends during the Buddy Walk® and see his picture on the big screen. Jamie is an incredible boy with a great attitude and a soft heart. He just needed to be reminded that he was a superhero just by being himself.
The author shares some answers to common questions she has received about Down Syndrome at the end of the book. She also shares how many of us, not just those with Down Syndrome, can be affected by sensory overload and that like, Jamie in the story, may need to use tools to adapt, like headphones to quiet the noise. The illustrations are realistic and show lots of diversity among the children in Jamie’s classroom, in the city, and on the Buddy Walk®.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and sharing this book with your children or your child’s classroom will help bring understanding and awareness for kids that have Down Syndrome or other conditions like Autism, or ADHD.
Joy Givens is the author of several award-winning short stories and the lucky mother of four young superheroes, including her son Joshua, who inspired this book. She also works as a coordinator of after-school programs that serve refugee and immigrant youth. Joy lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her family. This is her first picture book. Visit her website at www.joygivens.com.
Courtney Dawson has illustrated a number of children’s books, including There’s a Rock Concert in My Bedroom by Kevin and Danielle Jonas, Isabel and Her Colores Go to School by Alexandra Alessandri, and Help Wanted, Must Love Books by Janet Sumner Johnson. Prior to illustrating picture books, she worked in animation. She lives with her family in California. Check out her website, www.courtneyjdawson.com.