Nancy Pearl Book Award
Washington State Book Award Finalist
The Chicken Who Saved Us:
The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful
Distributed by Consortium
Non-fiction – Memoir/Biography
Trade Paperback Price: $15.95 US
This true story of fierce and faithful parenting is what author and world-renowned autism spokesperson, TEMPLE GRANDIN, describes as “Heartbreakingly beautiful.”
When young Andrew befriended a baby chick during a family visit to a local feed store, no one imagined that the chicken would help save his life.
Andrew is autistic. Many individuals with autism have a special ability to relate to animals, but Andrew’s relationship with the chicken he named Frightful became essential in the battle to save him from a mysterious and brutal disease.
“When Andrew met Frightful, it was love at first sight,” his mother, Kristin Adams, explains. “When he began talking to the chicken in ways he never could with us, we knew something extraordinary was happening. We called him the ‘Chicken Whisperer’.”
But what Kristin overheard Andrew whisper to Frightful one day stunned her.
“I think my body is trying to kill me,” he said.
Andrew’s terrifying confession to his chicken launched his family and an entire medical community into a decade-long search for answers. Eventually, Andrew was diagnosed with Trisomy 8 Mosaicism, a rare genetic disorder that doctors believed was causing his immune system to attack his body.
“For years my son was plagued by pain, fevers, and ulcers that eventually confined him to a hospital bed,” Adams says. “While his medical team desperately searched for a cure, Andrew’s ongoing conversations with Frightful helped to unlock the door to understanding his pain, giving his doctors deeper insight and bringing Andrew much-needed comfort.”
In The Chicken Who Saved Us, Adams invites readers to share in the silly antics between her son and Frightful, while honestly recounting the trials of raising a critically ill child. She paints a vivid picture of the fracturing of relationships under such strain, while honoring the delicate balance of love, and the search for grace. She meets her readers at the place where fear intersects faith—a place where a person can choose to view the mysteries of this life as tragedy or triumph.
“I wanted people to know they are not alone,” she says. “As those many months in and out of the hospital became years, it was the people who shared their stories and lives with us who carried us through the darkest times. They became the hands and feet of God.”
Adams takes readers on a heartfelt journey through autism and chronic illness, while navigating the complex landscape of modern medicine and genetics. Readers will venture to places where chickens talk, superheroes come alive, and a boy on the brink of death finds the courage to survive.
The author is currently working on another non-fiction book.