The Muse Book Reviews

I Just Am by Bryan and Tom Lambke Reviewed by Mary Schneider
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Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography 
Title: I Just Am
Author: Bryan and Tom Lambke
Publisher: Five Star Publications Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-58985-020-0
Pages: 86
Price:  $14.99 US

”This book questions what normal really is. After being around Bryan, I don’t think he is normal; he is better than normal.”
-Shannon D. R. Ringenbach, Ph.D., from the forward of I Just Am.
 “My name is Bryan. I have a disability. It’s not my fault. I just am.”
So begins the photo journey into the world of Bryan Lambke, a young man who has competed in the Olympics, holds two jobs, and goes out on dates, and who happens to have Downs Syndrome. The reader follows Bryan’s journey from childhood to adult in a series of photographs, all the while gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to have Downs Syndrome.
“Normal is feeling happy. I am happy. Normal is feeling sad. I can be sad. Normal means going to school. I graduated from Corona del Sol High School.”
Bryan’s smiling face peers out from each photograph, daring the reader to confront their assumptions of what a life with Downs Syndrome looks like. His unassuming, engaging voice speaks through each caption, questioning every aspect of his life. Bryan wonders, “What is normal?” And concludes that “I am not perfect. Who is? I look different. Doesn’t everyone? I just don’t get it. Do you? What is normal? I just am.” 
I give I Just Am a Muse Book Review Mark of Highly Recommended for its simple honesty and unabashed presentation. Bryan’s simple, straight-forward message breaks down stereotypes and assumptions, and entertains the reader with his story at the same time. This is an excellent read for anyone who knows and loves a person with Downs, for anyone who has never met a person with Downs, or for anyone in between.
I Just Am can be purchased from, Barnes&, or your favorite online bookstore.
Reviewer: Mary Schneider, MUSE BOOK REVIEWS
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