Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A New Look at Blindness

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings

Adolescent Fiction

This was an extremely unique story.  I've never read a book about the main character gradually going blind.  The story was very accessible to young people, its targeted audience.  It includes realistic thoughts and concerns of a young girl without being overly dramatic or too depressing.  It's a very realistic story.

Natalie is 14-years old and has just learned that her bad eyesight is actually her going blind due to a disease.  Her doctor has recommended that she go to a blind school to learn how to cope.  She resists at first, insisting she doesn't need to, but an accident forces her to confront the truth.  Natalie goes away to the school and learns how to use Braille and a cane, convinced she'll never need it.  Natalie continues to hold out for a miracle--that her eyesight will be restored against all odds. 

Going blind is very tough for Natalie, both emotionally and physically, and the author cuts her no breaks.  The reader struggles right along with Natalie's fear and frustration as she learns to read Braille, use a cane and take a self-defense class--all of which are important to the plot.  Natalie is a very 'real' character.  She's not just the 'blind' girl, but comes across very clearly as a young woman with friend problems, family drama, goat issues and who just happens to be going blind.

I really liked the story overall, but there were a few places where it lagged a little.  Reading about how a blind school functions and how it teaches the students to adapt to a sightless world was fascinating.  It is for young adults and I think my female students will really like this book.

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