And Yet We Rise, book cover, by Artist and writer, David BordenAnd Yet We Rise:

A Tale of Coping, Overcoming, and Transcending

This is the book I wanted fifteen years ago. I wrote it because I couldn’t find anything of its kind– as one reader noted: “this book takes a difficult subject and translates it into an easy to understand format: a beautiful story with simple, compelling drawings. This is NOT a Hallmark Special. If you’re looking for fuzzy inspiration, this is not your book. This is the book that challenges you to think differently, but also envelopes you in a story of love and compassion.”

Meditative, humorous, and raw, And Yet We Rise, dares to dive into the hidden world of parenting a medically fragile child with significant, multiple disabilities. This graphic novel explores the beauty and heartbreak with frankness and humanity.

If you live long enough, a loved one – or even you- will become disabled, but honest information is rare. This book tackles the hard questions:

  • How do you care for someone year after year who won’t get better?
  • How do you deal with the conflicting emotions of grief and relief?

This book calls to anyone who knows desperation, loneliness, or sorrow. It packs a powerful message: Not everything must be fixed… and, in fact, even significant disability and death are normal and natural– not to be feared or fought, but embraced as integral parts of the human experience.

The drawings are quietly stunning. They guide you through a disorienting landscape of intense complexity with their deceptively simple lines. You feel like you are getting a glimpse, not only into the artist’s private sketch book, but his life.

Reader Review:

Page 1 from the Introduction of And Yet We Rise, graphic novel by David Borden
page 1

“David Borden’s graphics drew me into a heartbreaking world. The struggles with his medically-complex daughter were portrayed with honesty and with humor. I felt like I was in the room with David as he tried to comfort a child who could not be comforted. As the mom of a child with a disability, I understood the fear of more complications and hospitalizations. The dark times when it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. No hope. And yet… This book also drew me into the love of a family that never gave up as they grew together. David Borden: Thank you for sharing your family’s journey in such an authentic way!”  –Cindy Kolbe (5 stars)

Soft cover: 5 x 8 in.
Pages: 256
Graphic Novel: Vibrant Black and White
Author: David Borden
Illustrator: David Borden
Publisher: ScribbleFire
ISBN# 978-1-36-625779-6

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The Kickstarter Campaign was a Huge Success!

(We surpassed expectations with 187% funding)

Reader Review:

“If I had one word to describe this book it would be hope. When my family was hurting, I looked everywhere for a story that could provide hope that one day my family would be happy again. I wish there would have been this type of honest, real, painful, and joyful book for my situation. I’m glad you shared your story with me and the rest of the world.”

–Janelle Blank

As Seen on TV!

Borden family with Savannah: And Yet We Rise

Fox News 7 ran a lovely piece on the book. Click here to watch.

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The Story Behind the Book

Savannah and David Borden playing on an exercise ball.
“Savannah and her Daddy”

My oldest daughter, Savannah, died a few weeks short of her 16th birthday. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, though we knew this day would come eventually. We knew we would not out live her because she had multiple, significant disabilities. At the urging of friends, I had written a memoir about our challenging life. However, the prose did not capture the essence of Savannah. I struggled with writing dialogue with a non-verbal person. I couldn’t express her exuberance, her anger, her infectious laugh, or her sense of humor with the mere description of her smiles and subtle eye movements. English doesn’t have enough words. I felt like a failure. I set the manuscript aside, even though one of the chapters won the grand prize in a writing completion against nation and international submissions in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

On the day of her passing, her younger sister, who was eleven at the time, wrote me a touching letter. “Its hard to think that I will never see my sister again. And I know it’s even harder for you…” she began.

This graphic novel is essentially my response.

Ruby reading to her sister Savannah. Drawing by David Borden
“Ruby reading to Savannah from And Yet We Rise”

I realized that the only way to tell this story was with images, as well as words. It needed raw, unfiltered black ink. The graphic novel that I would set out to write should feel like you were sneaking a peak inside my private sketchbook. I wanted to give Ruby the gift of her family story… and for everyone else, I wanted to lift the veil and let you into this hidden world of disability–not the world of motivational speakers and inspirational stories, but the world of private moments of inner struggle and bitter lessons.

I left my big job as the head of a division at Austin Community College to take a smaller job managing a single project, so I could go part time, and use that time to write and draw the graphic novel. My plan to publish by April 1, 2017, Savannah’s eighteenth birthday. One of the chapters won in a writing completion in the “comics” category.

Want to meet the real Savannah? Visit my blog about her at:

Listen to David Borden discuss Savannah’s story and the book on the podcast: One in a Million Baby.

“If you give this book a try, you won’t be able to put it down.”

Download the Introductory chapter for FREE (no strings attached).

Chapter 1: And Yet We Rise (687 downloads)

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More Praise for And Yet We Rise:

“This story is universal. Not just about disability, but about care-giving when someone you love is not going to get better, such as a dying parent.” –Kathy Dowdy

“This book is the perfect insight that not all special needs children are the same… You give your audience the ‘real deal’ when it comes to life and everyday issues.” –Zac

“What a powerful, moving story. Thank you for this loving gift.” –Linda Welsh

“The author shares his journey through an authentic, raw depiction of his life as a devoted father, husband, and caregiver.” –Angie Mills

“I became completely engrossed with each sitting… I found myself thinking about Savannah’s story during the days, and even though it was painful to read, I looked forward to it every night. Thank you for being brave enough to share Savannah’s story.” –Kim Goss

About the Author and Illustrator

photograph of writer artist, David Borden
David Borden

David Borden is an artist and award winning writer living in Austin, Texas with his wife and daughter. He’s held various jobs in education: director of art programming at a non-profit for persons with disabilities, ESL and GED instructor, and college administrator. Once, long ago, he even sold everything and moved to Morocco for five years. He is often described as unconventional, irreverent, and indomitable. Savannah taught him to laugh loudly, face every day with courage, and dare to dream.

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Customer Reviews on Amazon:

“…It carries far more literary power than simply being autobiographical and a personal testimony. It’s an American story. Imperfect heroes navigating their own individual and social pathway and encountering players and institutions that are at worst, contrary to their interests and at best, indifferent. At the same time, finding people whose inner light make it possible to reach the next milestone along their trek. Questioning Life’s justice but finding within themselves and each other the means to write Life’s verdict on their own terms. The American experience repeats countlessly, how people like David and his family bear what for many of us seems unbearable and find that too-often hidden well-spring of human dignity, strength and renewal by the simple love-fueled act of getting up everyday, and doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done.” –David Joost (5 stars)

“…but man, this was a refreshing graphic novel. An honest look at life with a medically fragile child. Heartbreaking and beautiful. Well written with superb illustrations. I read this book in one sitting.” –Tony Guyton (4 stars)

Thank you to Malvern Books, Austin, Texas, CTD and VSA Texas for hosting the Official Book Release on April 2

And Yet We Rise, book cover, by Artist and writer, David Borden
“And Yet We Rise” cover

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