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School Library Journal:

Gr 6 – 10 — Natalie, 14, knows that her future is becoming dimmer as the loss of her eyesight is a nightmare she can’t avoid. Her vision has been diminishing from a congenital disease since she was eight, but now the prognosis is not if , but when . As she states, “You can’t prepare for going blind.” Part of going from denial to acceptance is attending a boarding school for the blind. Hostile, angry, and uncooperative at first, she slowly begins to concentrate on learning Braille, using her cane, taking self-defense classes, and making new friends. This story probes the overlooked gifts of physical normalcy and brings awareness to the tremendous barriers the blind face—visible and otherwise. Natalie is a credible character and her fear is palpable and painful. From boarding-school life where she and her roommate are attacked by drunks, to back at her family’s farm where all goes wrong, readers follow her emotional and physical struggle. First there’s the compromised birth of a goat, and Natalie must reach into the birth canal to save the baby. As she notes “Even eyesight wouldn’t help her now.” Meanwhile, a rabid bear is beating down the barn door. This all-at-once action is a bit over-the-top, but it showcases Natalie’s emergence from despair and her capabilities. Readers will enjoy the high drama and heroics.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY –Alison Follos (Reviewed July 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 7, p85)

 

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