Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Empathetic Storytelling
Volume 118, Program 53
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A good story gives us the chance to empathize with the lives of its characters, and it also helps us learn to live more thoughtfully and compassionately. Today on Home School Heartbeat with your host Mike Smith, Rachel Coker explains how her novel, Chasing Jupiter, encourages us to understand and appreciate the relationships in our lives.

Mike Smith: Rachel, what is your second novel, Chasing Jupiter, about, and what inspired you to write it?

Rachel Coker: Oh, thanks for asking. Chasing Jupiter is actually set in the 1960s. It’s about a girl named Scarlett, whose younger brother has autism. Nobody really understood what that was back then, so their whole family is kind of thought of as being crazy and weird and kind of out there, and she really has to learn to how to sort of look out for her younger brother and hold her family together, and this is just a story that I think will reach to a lot of people. You know, I always think about my family, my relationship to my sisters when I was writing it, and I think it’s encouraging for anybody who wants to get to know their siblings better, or just understand themselves and their place in this world.

Mike: Well, why did you have an interest in this autism?

Rachel: There was actually an autistic boy who went to our church who I helped teach in Sunday school one day, and he was just the sweetest thing, and as I went home I was thinking about it, the idea for the story just coming together in my head as, you know, this family who’s trying to stick together, and everyone thinks that they’re different but they’re really just incredibly intelligent and, you know, they see the world in a really beautiful and unique way that we can learn a lot from.

Mike: Well, Rachel, this sounds like a great book, and I would encourage all of our listeners to check it out. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

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If you’ve enjoyed this interview with Rachel and would like to read her new novel, Chasing Jupiter, be sure to click the link above.

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