Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15 to 18
- Grade: 10 to 12
Dan Yashinsky's son Jacob died tragically in a car accident at the age of 26. Dan, Jacob and Jacob's best friend Effie were driving back to Toronto after a magical trip to Montreal when Dan fell asleep at the wheel and crashed. Dan and Effie survived, but Jacob did not. When the unimaginable happens--a parent is still somehow here but their child is gone--all that's left are stories. In the process of grieving his son, Dan realized that he was now Jacob's storykeeper, and I Am Full is Jacob's story.
Jacob's death is the least interesting thing about him. How he lived, the kind of man he became, is what matters most. All his life, Jacob had struggled with Prader-Willi Syndrome, but rather than let it defeat him, he became an advocate for people suffering from PWS as well as people coping with various other disabilities. He was a jewelry-maker, a photographer, a songwriter, a TPS crossing guard, and an avid fisherman. Six months after Jacob's death, Dan began to gather and create the texts that make up this chronicle, all the while guided by Jacob's imagined voice. The events in I Am Full are drawn from many periods of Jacob's life. Much of it--poems, sayings, speeches, letters, notes--are in Jacob's own words and the rest is told in his imagined voice narrating things that Dan saw him do or hear him talk about. Jacob's voice has been captured and carried in this unique book, which goes beyond the terrible grief of losing a child to preserving and sharing his story.
About the author
Dan Yashinsky has been a working storyteller for more than thirty years. He is the recipient of a Toronto Book Award for Tales for an Unknown City, and the author of The Storyteller at Fault. He founded the Toronto Festival of Storytelling, was one of the founders of the Storytellers School of Toronto and began the 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling in 1978, a weekly institution in Toronto that continues to this day. In 1999 he was the recipient of the Jane Jacobs Prize for making a valued contribution to Toronto’s cultural life, and in 2007 won the Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award.