How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine, by Amy Guglielmo

If your kids love learning about awesome people who have overcome considerable odds to achieve lasting success, then you must read this fabulous nonfiction picture book biography, How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine, by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville and illustrated by Giselle Potter.

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There’s nothing quite as inspiring as reading a story about a person who has overcome so many odds to achieve wild success. And success, obviously, is relative. Be it success in social situations, career situations, or even more basic situations like functioning on a daily basis, I love stories that show how people persevere and conquer the challenges stacked against them. Maybe it’s because my little one is a stroke survivor and has had odds of his own to defeat, or maybe it’s just because these stories touch my soul and make my big dreams seem achievable. Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. But either way, this is why I positively love the new picture book biography about Temple Grandin, one of the first people on the autism spectrum to speak publicly about her personal experiences.

How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine begins with Temple Grandin as a little girl and describes so many of the things she loved: paper airplanes, making obstacle courses and building lean-tos with real hinged doors. But there were also things Temple didn’t love -- things like scratchy socks, bright lights, and most of all, hugs.  Though she wanted a hug desperately, hugs felt like being stuck inside the scratchiest, most awful socks in the entire world. But then one day, she came up with an idea. Maybe all she had to do was build something. Would it be possible to build a hug machine?

I absolutely love the way How to Build a Hug showcases Grandin’s ingenuity and how she set out to fix one of the issues that most frustrated her in a unique and creative way. Because she recognized that pressure on her body was soothing, she invented a deep-pressure device modeled after those used to calm cattle before inoculation. Her idea worked - and it was genius. Despite Grandin’s intense sensitivities and reactions to many situations, Grandin was nonetheless a calm and measured thinker at the same time. Her hug machine was the first of many significant inventions, and it truly shows our children that anything — and everything — is possible. Though this book will be an absolute winner for children with neurological challenges such as autism, it is a brilliant story for any child, proving that no dream is too big to conquer, and no challenge too hard to fix. Two trunks up for this beauty!

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Want the book? Get it here! How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine. * This is an affiliate link. HEE received a copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.