Reviewer Mandy Taylor:
I usually find 'stammering books' fall into two categories: one being full of research, jargon and facts I have no wish to know, and the other the self-help variety, and for me, the less said about them the better.
And then we have Mr Rossi's little book of genius! I hate to think it falls into the 'self-help' category, but its theme is of a young guy having now made friends with his stammering, letting the world know that there are tools you can use so that you too can appreciate the person you are and will become.
There are great sections in this 'stammering toolbox' discussing self-advertising, desensitisation and building support. The 'secret weapons' of positivity and strength training make great reading and it’s all done in a non-patronising way that will appeal to teens, young adults and older folk alike. The 'toolbox' is interspersed with comic strip drawings throughout, featuring Franky Banky, a cute little character who goes through various situations from job interviews to asking girls on a date. It keeps the book from becoming yet another one that will gather dust on the shelf.
The page numbering system is very funny, with a different joke for each one. For example, page 7 is written as: ‘ssssssseeeee... ssssssseeee... 8 minus 1’.
Personally, I think this would be a great book for Speech and Language Therapists to give to teenagers; however, saying that, I think a lot of adults would benefit from it. It is done with such fantastic humour that anyone can relate to it. As Daniele says towards the end, “You are the only one in charge of making positive changes in your life. If you want a better life, make it happen!”
Gavin Bergin writes:
The first thing you notice about Stuttering is cool is the way it is presented. Daniele is a very talented cartoonist. I imagine that for young people this is a great way to learn and the cartoons will keep them interested. I had to turn the book around quite a lot to read it, which was distracting at times but added to the fun of it.
The themes throughout the book were positive. The overall message I got from it was not to hold back, to enjoy speaking and most importantly to have an open mind about what people think about your stammer and in turn, you. The book tackles some really big areas such as voluntary stammering and self-acceptance. Daniele does this very well. He tries hard to break down the pre-conceived ideas that I am sure every person who stammers has felt or does feel.
However, these huge areas are covered in just a few pages each, which is maybe a good thing; after all, we tend to complicate things way too much and often that makes things worse. I think most people will require professional support/therapy to be able to go out and practice in the way that the author describes. Hopefully people will be encouraged to explore the themes further through therapy or joining the BSA.
Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes. It’s a light, fun read and gives a very good overview of what can be achieved with a positive mindset and a good level of support.
Stuttering is cool... is suitable for those aged 10+ but the author notes that it is not a children’s book. It is available to buy online at www.stutteringiscool.com/book
From Speaking Out Spring 2014, p20