The Running Dream – Wendelin Van Draanen

8354134The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Disability, Sports, Realistic Fiction

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BLURB:

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her. Continue reading

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

20912424The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 8th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Historical Fiction, WWII, Disability

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BLURB:

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? Continue reading

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

25701463You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Disability

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BLURB:

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war. Continue reading

Review: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

18369372The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Music, Contemporary, Family, Romance, Friendship, Disability, Magical Realism

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BLURB:

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met.Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother. Continue reading

Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

24694022A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Friendship, Disability, Albinism

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BLURB:

Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.

For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. Continue reading

Review: Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

15507958Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Caregiving, Disability, Romance, Life

BLURB:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time. Continue reading