Tom Fields-Meyer

Praise for Following Ezra

“It’s a grim statistic: One in 110 American children is diagnosed with autism. But Fields-Meyer’s memoir, which focuses on the triumphs and breakthroughs of parenting an autistic son, is anything but grim. Guided by compassion and offering realistic expectations, Fields-Meyer learns to 'follow Ezra,' now 15, into and out of his parallel universe—a heart- and mind-altering experience for the author and an unexpectedly uplifting experience for the reader.”
PEOPLE (3.5 out of 4 stars)

A “charming memoir....Ezra's triumphs are more remarkable for their lack of super-human accomplishment, illustrating how ordinary families can persevere and thrive with love and patience.”

“In this sweet, funny memoir about his son‭, ‬a former People magazine writer and editor manages to‭ ‬destigmatize autism better than any medical book has been able to do‭....This is an uplifting book that can be highly recommended to parents of kids with‭ ‬autism‭.”

“This is not the average medical memoir...nor does it trace a common tragedy-to-triumph trajectory; the author strongly emphasizes supporting Ezra himself over the condition. Advised early on to ‘grieve for the child he didn’t turn out to be,’ Fields-Meyer quickly realized that there was nothing to grieve, and no sense of blame....Determinedly upbeat, the author depicts parenting with grace and every child as a gift.”

“Tom Fields-Meyer has a flair for telling human interest stories....His account of raising this bright and lovable child whose world he can gradually and only sometimes access is honest, moving, often humorous, and always engaging. While we learn a lot about autism and how autistic individuals experience the world, we never lose sight of Ezra as a unique personality with his own special strengths and ongoing challenges.”

“Following Ezra is a revelation. I could not put it down. Life rarely goes according to plan, and too often we try to control situations that are beyond our control. In this life-affirming book, Tom Fields-Meyer offers a rare gift: He teaches that the things we least plan for can become our greatest treasures. This inspiring memoir of a father raising (and being raised by) his autistic son is a great lesson about patience and the blessings that can come when we let our unique children lead us.”
— NAOMI LEVY, author of To Begin Again and Hope Will Find You

“In a world with such narrow yet out-sized definitions of success, this enchanting and profound book is a reminder that each child is made in God's image. I was sad to reach the last page. I'll miss following the exuberant Ezra.”
—WENDY MOGEL, Ph.D, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus

“Anyone who is raising a child with special needs should read Following Ezra. It shows how warmth and humor—yes, humor—can help not just the child, but the family, more than most of us could ever imagine.”
—JAMES PATTERSON, New York Times bestselling author

“A riveting account of raising one special boy, Following Ezra is a powerful story for parents of any child. This inspiring book shows us that seeing meaning and depth in our children's idiosyncrasies is crucial to raising strong, secure and resilient kids. Tom Fields-Meyer has written a beautiful, funny, tender book. I highly recommend it.”
—MICHAEL GURIAN, New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys

Following Ezra is an unsentimental, beautifully written memoir about a boy whose limitations and gifts are as extraordinary as his impact on the reader’s life. Like Ezra himself, this book is by turns funny, painful, poignant and scrupulously honest.”
— DAVID J. WOLPE, author of Why Faith Matters

“The moving, fascinating story of a father's journey toward understanding and hope.”
—DANIEL TAMMET, New York Times bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day

“I look for love in books about children. I trust the parent who yields to wonder and celebrates the unexpected. I honor the writer who tells a family story with dignity, clarity, and grace. Love is the river that runs through this book. Dignity and grace light each page.”
—BETH KEPHART, National Book Award finalist for A Slant of Sun, and author of Undercover

“Follow extraordinary father and gifted writer Tom Fields-Meyer as he walks with his special son, Ezra. Ezra's struggles to live life fully and to be a participant in his beautiful family and the larger world will fill your heart and inspire you in your own challenges. His sweetness, courage, and resilience come alive in his father's watchful gaze and masterful portrayal. Reading this book makes you feel like you just gained a new set of relatives—wise, sometimes goofy, always remarkable.”
— BRADLEY SHAVIT ARTSON, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, and author of The Everyday Torah

“When Tom Fields-Meyer's son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, the author decided to forgo mourning for the child who might have been, and concentrate instead on the delightful kid he had. Following Ezra is at once a meticulous description of what it is to parent a child who has autism, and a salute to the kid whose mind takes both of them to mysterious, profound, and silly places we so-called typical adults can scarcely imagine.”
—CAROLYN SEE, author of Making a Literary Life, and grandmother of a child with autism

Following Ezra is a revealing and poignant memoir, told with deep reflection and insight. Tom Fields-Meyer makes us feel the fear of the unknown, the peace of acceptance, the exhilaration of hope, and the endurance of love as father and son discover each other and find their way. It will bring help and inspiration to all those who wear these shoes, and enlighten all parents to celebrate the uniqueness of their children.”
—RICKI G. ROBINSON, M.D., M.P.H., author of Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for your Child

"A spot-on memoir that becomes positively transcendent as we follow sweet, worried, joyful Ezra from childhood into early adolescence and the preparations for his bar mitzvah. This story will illuminate the experience of parenting a child with autism for those who don't know it and will resonate with those of us who know it all too well. There are blessings along the way, and Tom Fields-Meyer depicts them beautifully.”
—CAMMIE McGOVERN, author of Eye Contact

Following Ezra is a wonderful read. Written with humor, grace, and wisdom, it is a testimony to accepting and appreciating a child for exactly who he is. I highly recommend Following Ezra to every father who has a child who sees the world differently—and actually to every parent, as it is a story of unconditional love.”
—ELAINE HALL, founder of the Miracle Project and author of Now I See the Moon

Following Ezra offers moving testimony to the strength and breadth of the human spirit. Tom Fields-Meyer provides a tale that transcends the fears and challenges of raising his autistic son, and shares how Ezra teaches him to appreciate the beauty and depth of the world in surprising and unanticipated ways. In so doing, Fields-Meyer expands our humanity and demonstrates that love and connection are possible in ways we might not have imagined—if only we are open. I laughed and I cried as I read page after page of this poignant, powerful, inspiring, and gentle book.”
—DAVID ELLENSON, President, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

“A book about autism isn’t supposed to be funny. But I laughed reading Following Ezra as much as I cried. There’s sadness here, but also great joy, boundless love and inspiring devotion. Ezra teaches not only his father, but all of us—about our foibles, our silliness, our narrowness and our capacity to grow, to learn, and to love. And in doing that, following Ezra—and reading his story—makes us better people. This book is a great and uplifting gift.”
—DANIEL GORDIS, author of Saving Israel, and Coming Together, Coming Apart