‘Better Than OK’ Has Arrived

TODAY IS BOOK LAUNCH DAY! Let me tell you about my book!

Of course I think everyone should run out and buy a dozen copies, but in the words of the great Levar Burton:

via Gfycat

“If Kelly Mantoan wrote a book about watching paint dry, I would buy it, because she’d somehow manage to make it smart and funny and eminently relatable. Luckily, she’s turned her talents to a much more important subject. This book is a must-read for special needs parents, but I would recommend it to any parent who needs a dose of wisdom and encouragement.” – Jennifer Fulwiler, bestselling author and standup comic

“In Better Than Ok, author Kelly Mantoan brings home the innumerable daily challenges of taking care of two physically disabled children with wit and wisdom. Describing her family’s spiritual and emotional journey through the stages of accepting their children’s diagnosis and future, she pulls no punches in the unique struggles and joys that come with this journey. Her raw honesty and practical advice to caregivers of special needs children is refreshing and hopeful. Her witness to seeing the face of Christ in her children is sorely needed in today’s society. I could not recommend this book enough. May we all come to know what a  gift our disabled brothers and sisters are to building the kingdom of God this side of Heaven.”  – Mary Lenaburg, award winning author of Be Brave in the Scared, Ave Maria Press

“Sometimes special needs parents need practical tips. Sometimes we need prayers. And sometimes we just need to know that we’re not alone. Kelly Mantoan’s Better Than Ok provides all three. This engaging new book is a true gift to the parents of kids with special needs and the loved ones who support them.” – Bonnie L. Engstrom, mom of eight and author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle

“Kelly Mantoan gives us a real and honest look at the practical, spiritual, and emotional challenges that come with receiving a serious medical diagnosis for a child. Equally importantly, she shows us that each of us is—with God’s help—capable of corresponding to the graces we need to find joy in a family life that might be different than we expected. A truly important book for Catholic parents of special needs children, and for family members, friends, and members of parish communities who want to better understand and more effectively support them.” – Kendra Tierney, author of The Catholic All Year Compendium

“This vulnerable book shares the reality and beauty of special needs parenting. Kelly Mantoan is the real deal and she doesn’t sugar coat challenges or offer trite inspiration platitudes. In Better Than Ok, Kelly uses her experience raising sons with SMA to guide other special needs parents through their journey as they learn to embrace a life they never expected and yet, find authentic joy as a family. A truly life-changing book.” – Haley Stewart, Author of The Grace of Enough, Podcaster, and Fellow of the Word on Fire Institute

“This book is a gem for all special-needs parents, by turns funny, poignant, and always honest. It’s the book I wish my parents could’ve had when I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in the ’90s.” – Emily M. DeArdo, author of Living Memento Mori: My Journey through the Stations of the Cross


For the cocktail that turned out “Better Than OK”:

Sarah Hillaker Davis’ Basil Gin Gimlet (because I was like “Basil???” but then I was like “Basil!”)

  • 2oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice 
  • 1 oz basil infused simple syrup (Sarah make’s her syrup using basil stems leftover from making pesto, but store bought works fine too.)
  • Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. 
  • Pour into chilled glass and garnish with a fresh leaf of basil
For the non-alcoholic recipe that turned out “Better Than OK”:

Kathleen Zimmerman’s Almond Bacon Cheese Crostini (All the crunchy things!!!)

  • One french bread baguette (1lb) cut into 36 pieces
  • Two cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 6 bacon strips (OR 2x MORE) cooked and crumbled
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • dash salt
  • additional toasted almonds, optional
  • Place bread slices on an baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned; about 8-9 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, almonds, bacon, onion and salt. Spread over bread and bake until cheese is melted; about 7-8 minutes. Top with additional almonds if desired. Serve warm.

Congrats ladies! You each get a signed copy of my book! I will be in touch!

Now it’s your chance to win a crazy gift basket of awesomeness that contains:

Enter for your chance to win below! (Yes, some of us are still using Rafflecopter for giveaways. #genxinfluencer )

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When I’m not sipping a basil infused cocktail or reading your hilarious tweets, I’ll be cranking up the polka in anticipation of Saturday’s party. I hope to see some of you there! And just like every Friday, drop your own Takes below. I look forward to reading your posts while in a bratwurst induced trance.

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Join the Conversation


  1. I loved your book, and I would read all the books. I don’t have time but I’ll make time for good ones.

  2. I always seem to be able to find time to read books I am really interested in! These sound like good ones!

  3. Congratulations! I look forward to reading this as a parent who also is walking this road. Thank you for taking the time to write for us.

  4. Congratulations on your book’s debut! I’ve learned alot from your writing over the years, and love your humor. Mostly, i am thankful for the insight that your boys are happy to be on this earth and don’t look at themselves with pity. (I know you’ve said that much more eloquently. )

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