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'Sam's Top Secret Journal' Pronounces Value of Differently-Abled Children


Dad and Author Sean Adelman Says His ‘Sassy' Daughter was the Inspiration for His Main Character – a Young Detective with Down Syndrome

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) October 25, 2012

One blessing Sean Adelman counts in being a father is what he's learned from his three children, which has inspired him to write “Sam's Top Secret Journal” (, the first in a Nancy Drew-style children's book series featuring a protagonist with Down syndrome.

“I think most parents have this experience that, while it's our job to teach our children how to grow up and function in a society, we are constantly learning ourselves,” says Adelman, a practicing orthopedic surgeon. “They force us to rethink the basics as we help mold them into mature human beings.”

His high-school age daughter, Dev, is a “bright, funny, sometimes sassy high school cheerleader with lots of friends,” he says, adding that other people with Down syndrome are artists, actors and athletes, college students and comics. His new book series ( for pre-teens illustrates how the protagonist, Sam, is in the same boat as other children, with different abilities, including a big heart.

Sam is a middle school girl with Down syndrome living a normal life – except when she is occasionally bullied for the differences kids perceive in her. As the book unfolds, readers see that she is just like any of her friends. She likes to play basketball, perform in community plays, gossip about boys at lunchtime and write about life in her top-secret journal. As her Uncle Alex is soon to come home from Iraq, her home is bustling with activity in preparation for his visit.

But strange happenings begin to disturb her community, and that's when Sam's carefree life becomes dangerously serious. A shady man in a trench coat has stolen donuts from the bake sale, money is disappearing from donation jars at the farmer's market, and – worst of all – her friend Michael has gone missing and could be in real danger.

Sam teams up with her quick-witted, gadget-savvy little brother, John, and is determined to solve Seattle's most recent set of mysteries, with much more at stake than donuts.

Twenty-five percent of the book's profits are being donated to inclusion-focused non-profits and/or wounded soldier charities, Adelman says.

“I loved the characters so much I stayed up last night to finish the book!” writes Amazon reviewer M. Fox.

“This ambitious book for children hits the mark more often than not,” writes a Kirkus reviewer. “There's a lot to like about a mystery/adventure for preteens that takes on bullying, disabilities and a girl's growing need for independence and Adelman manages to weave each of those topics into a compelling story for young readers.”

About Sean Adelman

Sean Adelman is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and advocate for exceptional kids in Seattle. He and his wife, Susan, have three children. Adelman wrote the “Sam's Top Secret Journal” series to show the similarities the protagonist shares with other children, and to explore how differently-abled individuals benefit society.

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