DOROTHY PAAD loves to create – whether it is a song, a dance, a theater production, or book. She doesn’t let having Cerebral Palsy stand in her way! It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that Dorothy was inspired to write her first book hoping to inspire kids in a way she wishes she had been. Today, she continues to share her story so that others may realize their potential and never stop pursuing their dreams.
Dorothy puts her heart and soul into all that she does. Each of her books reflects important moments in her life and highlights the people who have supported her along the way. Among the many people that have inspired her work are her father, Eric and brother, Andrew, who served in the United States Air Force and United States Army respectively; and her best friend and role model, Alice, whom she calls, mom.
In addition to her work in the writing and performing arts, Dorothy also works as an advocate for individuals with disabilities and caregivers as the spokesperson for the Caregiver Incentive Project. Her own in-home caregiver, Tracy, makes a valuable difference in her life — helping her to live her life to the fullest. In an effort to prepare future teachers for inclusive classrooms, Dorothy is also an Instructional Coach for the Northern Michigan University School of Education.
She is the recipient of a MI-UCP (United Cerebral Palsy Association) Closing the Disability Divide Award and a volunteer with Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice. Dorothy is also a member of the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association and Marquette Alger Reading Council.
“The visceral honesty of Dorothy Paad’s stories is what makes them relatable to the universal human experience. For example, she does not shy away from the factors that gave her trepidation before taking the plunge (literally) into adaptive skiing. First she must confront the fallout from years of bullying in high school which has destroyed her confidence, something that many readers will relate to. Next she must face Sensory Processing Disorder, a condition that may affect balance, hearing and other brain activity which could be overstimulated by a fast ski ride down the mountain. On the first day she has to overcome her fear of going too fast, falling over, or getting hurt. Like many young people, Dorothy is nervous meeting new adults – the ski instructors – for the first time. Last, but not least, Dorothy has a twinge of separation anxiety. As someone who is very attached to her mom and dad, going without them down the mountain was just one more stressor.
How will Dorothy do on her maiden voyage down the mountain? I wouldn’t dare spoil that for you, dear reader! Dorothy is Moving Mountains is at its core a reflection of how the human spirit can triumph over any disability, any circumstance, and any disadvantage through courage, support, and a willingness to be helped. I give Dorothy is Moving Mountains the highest recommendation for schools, libraries, families, and anyone who needs a lift about rising above their own circumstances, whatever they may be. The only writer I’ve ever met who could be as truthful about disabilities in children’s books was the late Michelle Katyal (pen name “Jewel Kats”) with her book The Princess Panda Tea Party: A Cerebral Palsy Fairy Tale (2014). I’m happy to say Dorothy has picked up the torch for a new generation.
—Review by Victor R. Volkman, Superior Reads in the Marquette Monthly (March 2023)
More information about the U.P. Notable Book list, U.P. Book Review, and UPPAA can be found on www.UPNotable.com\
About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)
Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing.