Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures” as Want to Read:
A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Born with a hole in his heart that required invasive surgery when he was only three months old, Quinn Bradlee suffered from a battery of illnesses—seizures, migraines, fevers—from an early age. But it wasn’t until he was fourteen that Bradlee was correctly diagnosed with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS), a widespread, little-understood disorder that is expressed through ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by PublicAffairs (first published March 10th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Different Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Different Life

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 191)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Memoir by a guy in his mid-20s with a genetic disorder, velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) that proved to be tough to diagnose and has numerous physical and cognitive effects. It was a little disconcerting that he identifies his difficulties mainly as a learning disability, which he definitely has, but the syndrome itself affects other areas and there are of course many many people with learning disorders who do not have VCFS.

The writing isn't terrific, and the organization is fairly random, but
I wish I'd liked this book more - Quinn's tale of what it was like growing up with VCFS is interesting and his "voice" is engaging. Part of my problem is that he is the son of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, so his story is also that of a rich child with VCFS and parents that could afford good treatment, good schools, etc. (not that it always turned out good for Quinn socially). It's admirable that he wants to be so open and honest about his life to help us understand what it is like to not be "nor ...more
I was hoping for insight and instead felt that I was intruding. That, combined with the way it is written, made it impossible for me to enjoy. It reads like a 4th grader's book report.
Jul 08, 2009 Linda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Linda by: Charlie Rose
Shelves: ill-chcpl
Quinn Bradlee is the son of former "Washington Post" editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, reporter Sally Quinn. Quinn was born with a heart defect and had a number of health issues throughout his life. When he was 14, he was finally diagnosed with VCFS (velo-cardio-facial syndrome) a genetic abnormality which is the second most often occurring disability (Down's Syndrome is number one.) One consequence of the syndrome is having a learning disability. I read this book since I am married to a man with ...more
I saw this book in my daughter, Annelies', pile from the library and felt compelled to pick it up. It is a short ride, a read from the point of view of the learning disabled person. I am always wondering why some things I just don't get and others I get very well. Quinn has a learning disability, which is connected to physical illnesses. He has surmounted surgeries, illnesses and knows too well how hospitals work. But he has also been blessed with parents who were able to help him. Not only in t ...more
I am the mother of a young woman who has VCFS and can relate to the experiences of Quinn and his family. Although he comes from a high profile, wealthy family, he has really been through it with poor health and the loneliness of not being able to fit in socially. This book certainly helped me to more fully understand some of my own daughter's specific difficulties which are presenting new challenges now she has reached adulthood. I found the contributions from Dr Shprintzen particularly informat ...more
Quinn Bradlee was born with the same syndrome that my son, Damon, has. Although the title of his book uses the words "Learning Disabled" instead of the syndrome name, VCFS, (apparently in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience), the story is specifically about Quinn's struggles with VCFS and its particular quirks. This fills a need for those of us touched by this syndrome who have had a hard time finding information in the past, but I imagine it will be too narrow subject-wise for other read ...more
Good experience to hear about the struggles of a young adult with both physical illnesses and learning differences. Several themes run through the book and though he had all the services and therapies money could buy, it couldn't fix him. i'm wondering how it might have been different if there had been more emphasis on his strengths growing up. This is Quinn's book so it seen through his lens. I think it could have been more compelling if others on the journey had added in their thoughts. Good r ...more
I love to see learning from the viewpoint of the student, the learner. From Quinn Bradlee I learned "It's just hard for me to find motivation sometimes" (109). He's son of Ben Bradlee, who was editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era, and Sally Quinn, the writer. He says he'd trade all his wealth for "a brain that worked right." (110)

But I didn't find much more here. Quinn's life reminds me of what someone --whose name I mercifully forget -- once said of me: His life might be worth
Ruthann Kain
Jul 02, 2009 Ruthann Kain rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Special education teachers, students
Recommended to Ruthann by: it caught my eye at the bookstore, I was looking for something e
Shelves: read-summer-2009
Great book! and hats off to Quinn Bradlee for writing it!! I have registered at the "Friends of Quinn" website mentioned in the book too. I look for this to be a book that I recommend to some of my college-bound LD students next year. Proof that if you put your mind to it, it might take a little longer, or a different path; but you can do it! very uplifting.
A touching Read- nice to hear his stuggles through his own words. Once again shows how our western views of education and self worth are on what we can't do. Quinn was fornute to have wealth on his side- not all with learning disablilities are given some of the opportunities he had. Still a honest and moving story.
I didn't finish this book, only got halfway. While I give him credit for overcoming HUGE obstacles, the simplistic writing ( and repetition) were too much for me to overcome. I did enjoy the parts written by his parents and skimmed through and read those. They are all lucky to have each other.
I really liked this book, although his language is a little raw a times. I can't say that I learned a lot about VCFS, but I did contemplate a little more about how those struggling with learning disabilities feel.
Just ok. Some interesting insights on having a learning disability. Certainly not the normal experience though, since he comes from a tremendously wealthy background.
Joella Tunnell
The author gave some honest insights to how it feels to have learning disabilities. This was the first I have heard of his disability, VCFS.
This was an interesting glimpse into the world of learning disabilities. His voice is honest and approachable.
this is our family book club, by my daughter's recommendation.
I really enjoyed this book
pretty good, got done with it in one day. His mom seems a little over the top.
Aug 03, 2011 Nancy added it
Reading this book outloud to KK... lots of cussing in it!
Jul 26, 2009 Lobstergirl marked it as will-never-read
The spawn of Sally Quinn speaketh.
Diane Buntin
Diane Buntin marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2015
Rachel Jonas
Rachel Jonas marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2015
Bryan Garcia
Bryan Garcia is currently reading it
Jan 26, 2015
Kristin DeIulius
Kristin DeIulius marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
A Life's Work: Fathers and Sons

Share This Book