John R. Miller is a 22-year-old Methuen native, who wrote and illustrated his first book, Adventures in Handom when he was 17 and at 19, released his second book, which is The Magical Heart of Handom. This book focuses on the power and magic of friendship. John also has autism. He is currently attending Northern Essex Community College where his major is Early Childhood Education and John’s plan is to work with children. He also ran track for the Knights at Northern Essex.
Handom is an imaginary world that John created when he was a little boy who would wrestle and play with his hands as a part of his stim. His hands were his way of telling stories and having friends with him. This ended up turning into John’s first sci fi children’s book, which was released in 2016. Kids love the cool colorful characters & parents appreciate the message of good defeating evil by having a good and kind heart and working together. John has presented and read to well over 5,000 kids and adults and counting. Our books are in 25 states and 9 countries. We also have whimsical and beautiful artwork from both of John’s books available. Out of all the accomplishments John has achieved, he has said, “If I have made one kid feel better about himself or herself by reading my stories and hearing my journey, I could not be prouder. This shows kids with or without disabilities can make their dreams come true if they believe in themselves and work hard." John has done presentations in several schools, libraries, Boys and Girls Club and YMCA club, rotary clubs and was a keynote speaker for the Winchester MA Light it up Blue event for 2 years.
Sports has played a large role in John’s life and his journey. When he was 8 years old, he won his first gold medal in track and field in Special Olympics. He went on to participate in gymnastics, where he won a staggering 5 gold medals and two silvers his first year. This is where he was on the road to help inspire countless kids and adults with his perseverance. John went on and achieved his black belt in Tae Kwon Do and ran cross country and track for the Greater Lawrence Technical School for 2 years. He was also chosen as prom king. His achievements have been chronicled in local tv and newspapers, as well as, pod casts and featured on radio several times. John had the opportunity to teach a writing class to a group of underprivileged kids through Si Se Puede in Lawrence Ma. He was recognized for his work and other achievements with a resolution from the City of Lawrence. He has never let anything stand in his way of accomplishing his dreams by never giving up. John’s books build a bridge to help others understand autism and what his kind spirit has created and continues to share.