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June 3, 2024

THIS KID IS COOL! — Finding Strength in Stories

Renée Isrel, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Engagement Team

Editor’s Note: names have been changed for this blog.

One of our amazing kids, Noah Butler, had a really hard start to his life, but due to a loving and nurturing family, he is doing great! Noah is one of our third graders who loves to read. He really enjoyed one of our THIS BOOK IS COOL! program books, A Boy Called Bat, so much that he was laughing out loud. The book features an unforgettable young boy who is on the autism spectrum. We think Noah is an incredible and unforgettable young boy, too.

Here is his mother’s note to their Family Connector:

This was the next book he selected, not knowing what the book was about! Whoever selected this one…..thank you.

You all don’t get the backstories of the children that you help, so I thought I would share this with you. Noah had a very tough start to his life. He was left out in the woods by his biological mother, who was passed out from a drug overdose. Noah somehow was found, by the grace of God, completely naked and hiding under a bush in a Florida thunderstorm. The reports said he was inconsolable. Noah was immediately placed into foster care, where he was tossed from home to home due to his challenges. Noah was completely non-verbal and diagnosed with Autism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. After four homes, the State had no choice but to look out of county for another foster home. We got the call on 5/30/2017 for Noah, and without hesitation, we said yes. We had our sweet boy immediately under doctor’s care, speech therapy, and other services. A little boy who was tossed out began to thrive. He started speaking and is now a straight-A student and a lover of books! Most importantly, he has changed our lives for the better and forces us to look at things differently. On 4/29/2020, his mother relinquished her rights to us, and he became our son.

This book is about a boy named Bat who struggles with Autism, and Noah is giggling and smiling because he can relate to Bat and his struggles. We are very thankful for not only the author of this book, but to the team of people who take the time to select the group of books for these young readers.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
The Butler Family


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