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Book Review: I Just Am by Bryan and Tom Lambke

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Bryan Lambke has grown up knowing he was different. He doesn't feel different, but the people around him tell him that he is. Bryan was born with Down syndrome.

Throughout the book written by Lambke, with the help of his father, he explains what Down Syndrome is and his feelings about growing up with this disability. Lambke states, "Down Syndrome is having an extra chromosome. It makes me look different than others. I don't feel different. I just am."

The book is prefaced by an interview with Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Cheryl's sister, Robin Elizabeth, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome as a baby. Robin Elizabeth lived less than two years, but her birth and life deeply affected Cheryl and she has never been forgotten. Dale Evans wrote a book about Robin's life titled Angel Unaware.

I Just Am is a poignant look into the life of someone living with Down syndrome. Throughout the book you can sense Lambke's confusion and frustration at being treated differently. Yet despite the obstacles, he is now twenty-three years old, works two jobs and has met two mayors and a governor as well as numerous celebrities. Readers will come away knowing more about Down syndrome as well as what day-to-day life is like for someone like Lambke.

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