Kathy Catazaro-Perry, mayor of Massillon, answers our Q&A on books that have impacted her.
Q. What is the last book you read?
A. “Riding the Bus with My Sister” by Rachel Simon (304 pages, 2002). This is a beautiful story about the love of two sisters, one of which has an intellectual disability who rides on a bus all day and has made friends throughout the city. The sisters decide to ride the bus together for a year, and the typical sister learns that the sister with disabilities has created a fulfilling life, which she could not believe was possible. It is a beautiful story for special needs families that offers acceptance, hope and understanding.
Q. What book did you enjoy reading the most?
A. “Success is a Choice” by Rick Pitino (288 pages, 1997). Coach Rick Pitino shares his journey and stories of how he impacted players’ lives on the court and in life. He truly can build character and self-esteem and teach lessons on the court that will last a lifetime. I sent my son to his basketball camp in Louisville, Ky., and I wanted to understand why Rick Pitino was so successful, so I purchased his book. I recommend it to anyone who coaches or is a leader in their organization. It is powerful and reveals the potential impact you can have on young students or staff.
Q. What is the last book that made you cry?
A. “Married with Special-Needs Children” by Laura E. Marshak Ph.D. and Fran Pollock Prezant, M.Ed., CCC-SLP (352 pages, 2007). Many people do not understand the stress parents of special needs children endure, as well as the stress on the entire family. The book discusses incidents that may occur throughout the families’ lives and ways to cope and create a life that is both satisfying and fulfilling for everyone. Being a parent is the most important job there is, and being a parent of a special needs child brings more challenges into a marriage and into the family. We believe our special needs daughter is a blessing, but we must learn to find solutions for a healthy life for all involved.
Q. What is the first book you remember reading?
A. “Beezus and Ramona” by Beverly Cleary (208 pages, 1955). I loved the author Beverly Cleary as a young girl. It was an easy read, and when you finished one of her books, you wanted to pick up another. The book was about a 9-year-old girl, Beezus, and her younger sister Ramona and the mischief Ramona would get into and how she would annoy Beezus. Beverly Cleary was a wonderful author who brought humor to clever stories about the uneasiness of their relationship and sisterly love.
Q. What is next up on your reading list?
A. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler (329 pages, 2014). I am looking forward to reading it, as it was last year’s selection for Woman’s Impact Book Club. I purchased the book last fall, but I have not had time to read it. I love to laugh out loud, and Amy Poehler is also one of my favorite comedians. I am certain I will not be disappointed.