Evansville teen picks up history book, grabs Dan Rather’s attention

Evansville teen picks up history book, grabs Dan Rather’s attention

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Some kids have a hard time finding interest in history books, but it can be even harder when you have autism.

13-year-old Olivia Jost has autism and very rarely will pick up a book to read, let alone a history book. That all changed when she picked up Dan Rather’s graphic version of his novel called “What Unites Us.”

Olivia’s mother, Natalie, says last Friday she caught Olivia actually reading the history book - a moment she had to capture and share on social media since it doesn’t happen too often.

Natalie took to Twitter and thanked Rather for the graphic treatment of the novel, saying her autistic teen isn’t afraid to read a history book anymore.

Rather retweeted Natalie’s tweet, responded to her, and then sparked a separate conversation about children with autism using graphic novels to learn.

”It was my first experience with the book. I was like, ‘hey this is nice. Cause I like looking at pictures,” Olivia said.

From there, Rather wrote back saying Olivia’s thoughts were some of the most meaningful reviews he’s ever received, and then sparked a whole new conversation about children reading with autism.

”It’s really difficult to champion a cause or to come on board and get behind something until you’ve had a personal experience with that. So for someone like Dan Rather, he’s been around the world and he’s seen so much, but there’s always something new and always somebody with a new experience. I think it’s wonderful that he’s still growing and learning and changing with the rest of us,” Natalie Jost, Olivia’s mom shared.

Olivia’s mom says hopefully this will inspire others to think about creating graphic versions of their own books.

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