Author: Priscilla Cummings
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Page #: 226
Source: From a Coworker
"In many ways, Natalie O'Reilly is a typical fourteen-year-old girl. An excellent student, she has many good friends and a family who loves her. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a short time.
Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she's told; inwardly, she hopes for the miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person's dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight? Her decision does not come easily."
"Like so many of Natalie's early memories, this one is full of color: the fresh yellow straw, the red blood that was pooling way too fast, the silver bucket kicked aside, the damp, quivering brown fur."
This book held a lot of emotion for me. There is something so emotional about disability - and especially blindness for me. No, I don't know anyone who is blind, but my own eyesight is pretty horrendous. Well, contacts can correct mine and hopefully I won't have any deterioration in my vision. But I've always had fears of going blind. bad dreams, thoughts about, etc. I guess it's because I don't do well without my contacts. I can't imagine not having sight... it's just a really scary idea for me.
All that being said, this book was very enlightening for me. And wonderfully written. I don't want to talk too much about the concept of blindness without commending the author on this book. It's written very well and I loved all the characters and their different views toward this blindness thing. There is something refreshing about having characters who are real when dealing with an issue as serious as a disability. This book does a great job showing all those various sides to the issue.
As I was starting to say before, I learned a lot from reading this book. I guess there were a lot of things that didn't occur to me before - or perhaps I had just never thought about. Things like, how much training it takes to use a cane... or learning a whole new language with braille... all of the restrictions in travel, jobs, and life. It just all was discussed so easily and interestingly that I will never forget the lessons I learned in this book.
You know, there are a few ways this book could have gone. I always wonder with this type of book if the author sets out to write a book about a blind girl, or if they set out to write a book about a girl's life who just so happens to be going blind. You know what I mean? Because this book seemed more like the later. That her family and her life are affected very centrally by this disability, but she's still just a girl dealing with drama. I don't know if any of this makes sense, but I really appreciated the way this book was written.
I do hope to read more by this author - once I figure out what those things may be. I enjoy knowing that she did so much research for this book. It really shines through. This is an inspirational book and definitely makes me very thankful for my crappy eyesight... because someone always has it worse. What a great book!
I will be recommending this book to anyone looking for inspirational realistic fiction. It completely fits the bill. And I think it would be really good for teens to read this book in order to get an understanding of a fairly common disability. Sometimes it seems like blindness would be easier to handle than other disabilities, but this story shines light on every aspect of it. I'm highly recommending it.
Check out the author's website for more information and more books that she's written. I know I'll be looking for them.
Other Blog Reviews:
As I Turn the Pages
Well, in my search for reviews, I realize that a lot of people were waiting on this one, but not many have gotten their hands on it. I look forward to reading more reviews of it in the future. Have you read it yet?