The Wisdom of Sam: Observations on Life from an Uncommon Child

The Wisdom of Sam:


In this heartfelt and generous book, author Daniel Gottlieb shares life lessons taught to him by his eight-year-old grandson, Sam. Readers were first introduced to Sam in Letters to Sam—which has been translated into 15 languages, with more than 50,000 copies sold in the U.S. Now, The Wisdom of Sam continues the extraordinary story of the interaction between a grandfather who is quadriplegic and a grandson who is autistic as they share their discoveries about empathy, compassion, courage, happiness, and the power of laughter. Sam’s uncommon perspective on the world—and the remarkable way he expresses himself—are the seeds of inspiration for his grandfather. And the emotional connection between Daniel Gottlieb and his grandson provide a springboard for wonderful moments of reflection, understanding, and humor.

Sam’s candid observations not only teach us what we’ve forgotten but they also show us how to look at the world through a different lens. Just as Sam’s grandfather has found his world view forever changed by the wisdom of his grandson, readers of The Wisdom of Sam will discover unforgettable messages of acceptance, hope, love, and gratitude.




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Read a Book Review of The Wisdom of Sam by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat online at Spirituality and Practice

Another beautiful volume from one of the few inspirational writers who has actually walked the walk and not just talked the talk. Gottlieb is a national treasure.

Daniel Gilbert
Professor of Psychology, Harvard University,
Author of Stumbling on Happiness

In The Wisdom of Sam, Dan Gottlieb once again reminds us of the simplicity of the things that matter, their abundance in our daily lives and the power of love to reveal us as whole . Dan is the grandfather each of us would wish to have and Sam, the grandchild who is life’s greatest gift. A book that is food for the journey.

Rachel Naomi Remen MD
Author, My Grandfather’s Blessings and Kitchen Table Wisdom
Founder and Director
Institute For The Study Of Health And Illness at Commonweal

The Wisdom of Sam offers a compelling journey with a compassionate and insightful guide, Dr. Dan Gottlieb, who shares the experience of a young boy with autism and his quadriplegic narrating grandfather. While our teacher for this heartfelt course in living may find it difficult to physically move, his clarity and brilliance as storyteller and psychologist moves us deeply in the most profound levels of learning: Life, love, death, hope, beauty, truth, and wisdom are our the beautifully delivered curriculum. I was sad when the book ended–loving this course in how to open our eyes and hearts to live life to the fullest–and profoundly grateful for the vision this book so magnificently provides to appreciate the wondrous gift of being alive and to inspire each of us to connect compassionately with the unique individuals, young and old, who enrich the many worlds in which we live. This is an irresistible invitation to seize the moment and awaken our minds to live life fully present.

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
Author, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
Mindsight Institutel

When my son’s autism began over 25 years ago, I tried single-mindedly to change him. After seven years, I realized that he had changed me. Likewise, Sam’s perspective through his different kind of mind makes him an extraordinary teacher to his learned grandfather and readers from all walks of life. Through Sam, Gottlieb reminds us of the passions of childhood. This is a book I will pick up over and over to take me back to that wisdom inside.

Rober Naseef
Author, Special Children, Challenged Parents
Co-editor Voices from the Spectrum

In the imagination, important things are big achievements in the past or future. In life as it is experienced, important things are small, present, and moment to moment. This beautiful book is a meditation about those small and yet important moments. As you read it, you will find yourself settling down, breathing in, and opening up to your own life. Consider it a gift to your heart.

Steven C. Hayes
Author of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life

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