Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD
Thirteen-year-old Lynne watched her parents wrestle with the fact that their newborn baby Bruce, her new brother, had been born with Down Syndrome. Over the years, Lynne struggled to ensure that Bruce would be included as part of the family and vowed to protect him from a young age, while also making sure that her nine-year-old brother, David, was not also left behind amidst the chaos. As time passed and Lynne went off to college, she learned that her baby brother was still not safe from being given away.
Listen to Me: How My Down Syndrome Brother Saved My Life is the story of Bruce and the love he inspired in Lynne to fight for the unity of her family. Lynne, David, and Bruce maneuvered the trials of life together, thus cementing their unwavering commitment to each other as siblings. By turns funny and heartbreaking, Listen to Me is a story about being brave, finding your voice, and becoming not who you thought you were, but who you were meant to be all along.
Lynne Podrat graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and then spent fifteen years in the Fashion Industry as an Assistant Buyer and Department Manager with Bloomingdales Department Store before returning to school to receive her educational degrees from Arcadia University and Gynedd Mercy. A retired educator and Administrator from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School District, she taught English, literature, composition and history in elementary and secondary schools. She has secretly been a writer and poet her whole life, but has only recently chosen to share those talents with the world. Lynne now lives with her husband in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, spending winters dragon boating where her heart races, and summers hiking the Rockies in Vail, Colorado where her heart sings.