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Knowing Jesse

A Mother's Story of Grief, Grace, and Everyday Bliss
Narrated by: Marianne Leone
Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jesse Cooper was an honor-roll student who loved to windsurf and write poetry. He also had severe cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic, unable to speak, and wracked by seizures. He died suddenly at age 17. In fiercely honest, surprisingly funny, and sometimes heartbreaking prose, Jesse's mother, Marianne Leone, chronicles her transformation by the remarkable life and untimely death of her child.

©2010 Marianne Leone (P)2010 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

“A mother’s passion-filled memoir of her fight to give her disabled son the life he deserved.... Love for her son and rage at those who did not see him as worthwhile permeate the narrative, which surprises with its humor and frankness.... Leone’s character sketches are deft and humorous, and included throughout are selections of Jesse’s poetry and photographs of the boy with family and friends, attesting to a life that, though short and often painful, was filled with accomplishment, love and joy. Heartwarming.” ( Kirkus Reviews)

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Phenomenal!!

Wonderful book! Being a father of 2 kids on the autism spectrum and a wife who is a special education teacher with a general education license as well. She has been able to go to her district to implement an all inclusive class where she has kids on IEP’s in her classroom. This book talks about what many parents and educators deal with. Money and budgets and how the individual gets lost in the big picture. Marianne does an excellent job telling her tale of her son Jesse and how she as a parent had to fight for him to be inclusive in the classroom. She explains how both her and her husband Chris Cooper struggle with what to do when you have what you feel experts giving you advice on what to do with your child. And the struggle of knowing what a parent feels is what is right for their kid. She uses humor and her Italian heritage with that wise guy flair. I loved this book and am so glad she shared their story.

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Never would have picked this title

If it wasn't for my wife making the recommendation. Spend a few hours listing to Jesse's mom tell her story. You will be pleased to know her and get a feeling about how she knows her son. Lucky woman.

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Inspiring

I lost my 17 year old son, Beau, eight months ago, however, under very different circumstances. But the one thing we do have in common as mothers is an undying love for our sons. I appreciated every word. What resonated with me is Marianne's love for Jesse. Just like my love for my son, Beau. Thank you, Marianne.