Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

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9780670021468: Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

Read Josh Sundquist's posts on the Penguin Blog.

One moment Josh Sundquist was your typical energetic and inquisitive nine year- old boy. The next, his entire life changed when he was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a particularly virulent cancer strain that would eventually claim Josh's left leg. Told in a wide-eyed, winning, heartbreaking voice, Just Don't Fall is the story of the boy Josh was and of the young man he became. His story begins in a small, close-knit Southern town, where his father-an aspiring pastor questioning his faith, and his mother-- homeschooling an ever- growing brood of children-struggle to make ends meet. Josh journeys through a dizzying array of hospitals and eventually lands at a pivotal place: the nearby mountain, where he makes his first attempt to ski.

It is on the slopes, and later, on the race course, that Josh's world bursts wide open in a way no one could have ever anticipated. The inspiration to ski, however, and to become a champion, is not all that Josh has to contend with- there is adolescence to navigate, the transition from homeschool to public high school, and girls. There is an increasingly turbulent and difficult home life, with another cancer scare, a wayward brother, and dwindling finances to pay for training. Finally, there is the wild, bumpy road to the Paralympics in Turin, with a misanthropic coach, training in the Rockies, and a timeless friendship with a charismatic, imposing Brooklyn homeboy named Ralph.

Through it all, Josh is forced to question his abilities, his sanity, his will, his faith in himself, and his faith in God. Because of, not despite, these myriad obstacles in his path, Josh is able to achieve a genuine grace: the grace to risk failure and to succeed. It is the grace of a young boy becoming a man and of a champion realizing his greatest dream. Josh Sundquist shows us with charm, humility and remarkable strength that even if we fall, this inner grace can lift us up and carry us over the many mountains we all must face.

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About the Author:

JOSH SUNDQUIST was a member of the 2006 US Paralympics Ski Team in Turin, Italy. A graduate of the College of William & Mary and the University of Southern California, he is the founder of LessThanFour.org, the world’s largest online community for amputees and is a nationally known motivational speaker. He is 25 years old and lives in the Washington, DC area.

Review:

"What a voice! I loved this book, every page."
-Kelly Corrigan, New York Times best-selling author of The Middle Place

"Inspiring. Courageous. Sometimes heartbreaking. The tough lesson that less than a hundred percent is still all right."
-John le CarrT

"I didn't want to put this book down. It was more than the amazing story-it was the honesty of a voice that spoke, without a whiff of melodrama, about loss and worry and determination."
-Elizabeth Strout, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge

"Just Don't Fall is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read-not to mention poignant and funny. If I ever find myself wallowing in self-pity, I plan to reach for Josh Sundquist's book."
-A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically

"Josh Sundquist has not only written an inspirational memoir about elegantly and deftly triumphing over adversity, but he has also written a fascinating and hilarious one...incredible energy...moving and deeply affecting."
-Isabel Gillies, author of the New York Times bestselling Happens Every Day

"A remarkable account of a young man's triumph over adversity. It shows that disability need not be a barrier to great achievement. This book is brimming with hope and humor, joy and courage, but most of all love."
-Daniel Tammet, New York Times bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day

"His story made me laugh out loud and cry at the most unexpected moments. He is funny, poignant, irreverent, and full of life."
-Donna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Grace

"I finished this book with a profound sense of awe ... a phenomenally gifted writer. Bravo for this original voice-the memoir shelves shifted for Frank McCourt, and they will shift once again for Josh Sundquist."
-Elizabeth Hyde, author of In the Heart of the Canyon and The Abortionist's Daughter

"An absolutely beautiful story of strength, integrity, and passion for life. His wry humor and rich evocation of the people in his life make this an entirely engrossing read, and his storytelling gifts are clear. I look forward to reading whatever this talented young writer comes up with next."
-Marya Hornbacher, author of Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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