Second-Place Winner 2020 Indie Reader Discovery Awards
Finalist 2020 Montaigne Medal Award
Book available January 26, 2021
Arthur Russell is an average guy—a married man with one child and one on the way, he and his growing family settle in Davis, CA for a life they dreamed of and a top-notch educational system.
In this promising life, Arthur comes face-to-face with a discrimination that tests his limits. Thirteen Doors is a story of transformation, resilience a parent's love, and a family's bond. This deeply moving and personal story brings us to the threshold of injustice and brings us through the thirteen doors to become a warrior for change.
“The most paralyzing part of the autism journey is believing you are alone — that your experience of “different” is absolute and alienating. That’s why stories like Thirteen Doors matter. In preciously recognizable little moments, as much as larger plot lines, connection secures strangers to feathers, and lifts us all a little higher.”
Jennifer Cook (formerly Cook O’Toole), Best-selling author of Autism in Heels and founder of Belong
“Beautiful, heartbreaking, real. A story that shares the truth about the struggles and complexity of the autism journey from a father’s perspective. I walked away with more understanding and compassion.”
Amy Ahlers, Author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves and
Reform Your Inner Mean Girl
Thirteen Doors is one of those rare books that not only draws the reader into the story, but also makes one ponder how he/she would respond in a similar situation. The story is an authentic account of Arthur and Annie Russell’s life with their autistic daughter and their eye-opening journey navigating public education.
It is told in the voice of the father, who writes in a unique style with a wonderful blend of caring, humor, and outrage. I laughed, cried, but mostly rooted for this incredible family. As a professor of education, retired teacher, mother, and grandmother, I felt changed after reading this story. It is an important read. The story allows the reader to become part of this family. I know the story will resonate with families of special needs children, but equally important I highly recommend this book to everyone involved with children—parents, teachers, pediatricians, therapists, and educational leaders.