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An honest, engaging and poignant memoir, Cover My Dreams in Ink portrays the struggles of a boy with learning differences and his mother’s relentless fight to provide the support, the understanding and the resources needed for him to make it in this world. In detailing her dogged pursuit of suitable educational programs and effective health care, the story reveals a mother’s passion for her son’s equal rights and her unshakable belief in his potential.

The poetry is intertwined throughout, expanding the reader’s perception, and distinguishing the memoir as well as the boy. Worthy in its own right, the poetry provides a vivid depiction of the inner life of a boy who was underestimated and serves as tangible evidence of the vast chasm between his ability to think and his ability to verbalize his thoughts, a plight he was saddled with all of his life and one not readily understood.

Tracing an often heart-wrenching and mostly challenge-filled journey, the memoir offers a portrait of a mother and son who, faced with bitter disappointments and often insurmountable obstacles, manage to cope with adversity, although each in their own way and sometimes in opposition to each other. What becomes obvious in their story is the bond between them, a bond based upon unconditional love, with their candid communications—often laden with strife but not without humor—as evidence of that bond.

The adolescent boy’s longing for affirmation and his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy give way to a sense of hopelessness that dovetails with failed systems—school, health care, legal, and even family—to create the perfect storm. From the discovery of a drug that initially provided needed relief to the pure hell of addiction—exploitation, humiliation, punishment—and from homelessness and jail cells to rehab and a wanderlust fueled by the relentless quest to belong, his young manhood is full of heartache but also of grit, determination, and the capacity to love and forgive and the will to keep fighting against the odds.

Cover My Dreams in Ink elucidates the source of addiction and its getting a foothold years before drug use, providing insight crucial to the hope for effective treatment and preventative measures. This gripping story inspires reverence for the power of family, sensitivity toward those who are different, and compassion for fellow humans who struggle to cope with challenges so often arising from uncontrollable circumstances, rather than faults of character.

Shining a light on these important forces at play—whether the result of mistakes or misfortunes—Cover My Dreams in Ink is a memoir with a political conscience.