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Loving Isaac

by Heather Kaufman

Item #: 124521 / 2018 / Paperback / 352 Pages


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Hana’s life is on pause. She’s between homes, between jobs, between a rock and a hard place. She and Isaac, her son with special needs, are running from a painful past, and she’s looking to the future with not much hope. And then she meets Pastor Matthew Schofield.

Matt loves his books, his writing, and his small Oklahoma congregation. His life is studious and predictable, just the way he likes it. When he meets Hana and Isaac, who are anything but predictable, his world is forever changed. As Matt forms a surprising bond with Isaac, Hana is challenged to view God and His promises in a whole new light.

Thoughtful and eloquent, Loving Isaac is a story of compassion and trust that will renew your faith in the power of God to work change in both big and small ways.

Praise for Loving Isaac

“A charming and well-crafted tale of family, compassion, and acceptance.”
Kirkus Reviews 

“A tender story of failure, forgiveness, and relationships all wrapped up in a mother’s love for her special needs son and a heavenly Father’s care for His precious children, both young and old.”
—Kim Marxhausen, educational psychologist and author

“In a world where autistic children are too often underestimated and misunderstood, [Kaufman] paints a portrait of hope and love, and by letting us know and understand Isaac and how he sees the world, she gives dignity to those who have this condition.”
—Cynthia A. Graham, author

“Timely and relatable”
—Kim E. Bestian, author of Blueprints for Children’s Ministry

“A touching story of resilience and a reminder of God’s providence”
—Laura Montgomery, Director of Educational Resources, Lutheran Elementary School Association

“A beautiful story that grabs you at the first page and won’t let go until the end.”
—Clarion Fritsche, missionary and homeschooler

“A compassionate, inside look at autism and the challenges and joys of loving someone on the autism spectrum. Loving Isaac is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand and help.”
—Ruth N. Koch, M.A., NCC; Mental Health Educator


About the Author

Heather Kaufman lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and two sons. She holds a BA from McKendree University and an MA from the University of Missouri—St. Louis and is the author of The Story People. When not reading or writing, she can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee and exploring new parks with her family.

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Customer Reviews

Loving Isaac

by Heather Kaufman

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Loved this book!

This was such a tender and poignant look at some difficult subjects. I absolutely loved the story of Hana and Isaac, their family and friends, and the community that came to love and accept them. Kaufman's writing is well-rounded, realistic, and sincere: good character development, a plot that hit all the right emotions and story arcs, and an outstanding message of the goodness of God's grace and mercy in Christ. Whether you have been personally impacted by autism or not, this is a novel every Christian can relate to on multiple levels.

awesome story

An awesome story of raising an exceptional child, receiving God's mercy and grace, and what it means to be the Church who loves our neighbor.

Great understanding of people, autism, faith struggles

I loved this book! I ordered 2 books. Gave 1 to a dear friend who is wonderful mom to her amazing autistic daughter. My friend read the book in one night. I read it also to help me be sensitive to needs and just gave my copy to another parent, who plans to read it and pass it on too! I am ordering several more to give out. The author has a deep understanding of people, personalities, our selfishness, sin, fears, how people interact without really understanding each other, and even deep love and sacrifice for each other whether or not we understand or agree with each other. I love even the faith struggle being explored as people try to figure out God, life and themselves. God's abundant patience, love, forgiveness and protection flow through the whole book as well as His truth. I ached as a character struggled with abuse because I have heard that story from many. The next book I give away will be to a friend who needs to know she is not alone and that God WILL get her through this. The book is not just for family of autistic children or in abuse. This book is about all of us! Heather Kaufman, keep the books coming! Thank you for sharing your God-given gift. It is a welcome tool for me in my ministry.

Great read with many layers

This book was a gem, holding a unique understanding of special needs children, grace for mothers, the complicated nature of family dynamics, and the mess and hope of the local church. It took me a while to love the characters, but by the end I was cheering for each of them, even the hardest ones to understand. This book reminded that we are all different and necessary for one another, that people, even when they push away need us, and that sometimes love takes its own kind of time.


This book was phenomenal in many ways. As a church worker, I get to work with people with disabilities on a weekly basis. Building awareness and helping my friends to be included in the life of the church is always an uphill battle. “Loving Isaac” is a great book for the Church because it helps bring awareness not only to the struggle of a child with disabilities fitting in, but the struggles of a parent whose life is not always easy. This book isn’t just about loving Isaac though. Rooted in a deeper love, this book is about God’s love for us. Whether or not you can relate to the story of Isaac and Hana, you will definitely relate to the sacrificial love of Christ in the character’s lives.

Beautiful, rewarding book.

This was not an easy read, for me. I stopped after almost every chapter just to absorb what had happened and adjust my emotions before reading the next one. However, it was a wonderful, rewarding read and I know I will return to it in years to come. Heather Kaufman has an amazing way with words, weaving them into a world that feels very real, in good ways and bad. I saw a lot of myself in characters in this book, which was both reassuring and a good wake-up call to avoid some behavior I've lapsed into. Behavior like always talking to the people I already know at church. Just because I'm shy doesn't mean I can't be kind and welcome new people. Time to work on that.

Love and Second Chances

Heather Kaufman does a marvelous job of what it’s like to have a child on the autism spectrum. Being a mother myself who has a child on the spectrum, I could identify a lot with Hana and the joys and struggles that come along with it. This book is filled with love, community, understanding and second chances.

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