Aug 16, 2013

Hadley-Hadley Benson

Book Details
Author: Jody Wind Durfee
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Drama

If Hadley Benson were writing this review he would say...

"This book is EXCELLENT, uh-huh, MOST EXCELLENT!"

For it truly is!

Fun and light, yet deep and solemn too.

Many things to think about including how we treat each other and why we are here.

I fell in love with the characters immediately...all of them!

I LOVE the way they interact with each other! Not always perfect, but real and with flaws....which made the story all the more interesting to read.

Jaxon wants nothing more than to escape BEFORE he has to help the new neighbors move in. That is until he sees their daughter Maddi. Then he is all smiles and muscles and can think of nothing he wants to do more than help them lift their heavy boxes.

While holding said heavy box Jaxon literally runs into Maddi's twin brother, Hadley.

Hadley is standing with his hand in hand-shaking mode saying "Hello, I'm Hadlye-Hadley Benson."

Jaxon tries to explain that his hands are full with the heavy box.

But Maddi yells at him "just put it down and shake his hand. He won't move until you do."

And so starts the sometimes awkward friendship between Jaxon, Maddi, and Hadley-Hadley Benson.

And "just when things seem to be working out, a horrible prank seems to make everything fall apart, leaving Maddi and Jaxon caught in the middle of doubt and faith, hurt and forgiveness, friendship and love."

I really LOVED this book!

About the Author:
I've coached Special Olympics for a little over 10 years and it's one of the most enriching things I do. I've made many friends and have been taught too many lessons to count by people much, much farther up the awesome chain than I. This year the State Summer Games were held at Herriman High School. First, whoa! I was amazed at the size of the school and all of its facilities! Second, the volunteers were extraordinary! I've attended almost every Summer Games since I began coaching and the people that help are always incredible, but this year, I might have paid more attention to what everybody does. The kitchen staff were always helpful and friendly––and there were a lot of people to feed, the janitorial staff was ON IT, and all of those helping with Healthy Athletes were kind and professional, no matter how many times I interrupted to gather athletes for events.

I can't begin to mention all of the work the volunteers do, but here are a few things I noticed––they encourage, cheer for, time, announce, stage athletes to prepare for races, guide athletes onto the track, take pictures, tape lines so the athletes (and coaches) aren't confused about where the athletes need to race, ready medals and ribbons, announce medals, make snow cones, paint faces, sing, dance, set up and take down tents, organize opening and closing ceremonies, listen, share, coach, love and on and on and on. (I haven't even mentioned the trillions of hours the paid SOUT staff put in.)

In addition to all of this, there was something I hadn't seen before this year. In a corner of the school, there was a back drop, stool, interviewer and camera where people were able to tell their personal Special Olympics story. I'd walk past the area each time I retrieved an athlete from Healthy Athletes. I was always in a hurry, but I still heard little snippets. Some were given by parents or coaches or siblings, volunteers or athletes. Storytelling is always powerful, but I can only imagine the power of these stories and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one day I'll be able to tell about the many people with Special Olympics that have influenced me. I'll be watching for the stories they collected this year.

The thing is, all of these volunteers get together for the incredible, courageous, human, funny, witty, humbling athletes. And I am so thankful they let me be a part of it.

(A digital review copy was provided for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)


  1. This one sounds really interesting. Hadley sounds like a fascinating character. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!
      It is a really fun book!
      Come see me again soon :)



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