The 295 paged book is narrated by a young girl with cerebral palsy who cannot speak and cannot walk. The reader gets a first hand look into what it might be like to go to a school and be placed in a special needs classroom. When the narrator begins the 5th grade her school begins an inclusion program and everything changes for her! This is a powerful story with a dramatic climax in plot.
I think this book could be used with students to model:
- Powerful Beginnings: The author’s use of words in the first chapter is compelling and draws readers to want to keep reading the book
- Empathy/Point of View:
- Chapter 5 discusses what it may be like to be placed in a self-contained classroom.
- Chapter 7 discusses what it was like to be to have a classroom teacher who thought she was dumb.
- Chapter 11 discusses what it was like her first day in a mainstream classroom.
- Importance of Reading (p. 45-50): The main character shares her strong desire to read and why she knows this ability will change her life. Also, p. 107 lists some books she listened to on tape as a 5th grader.
- Work Ethic (p. 160) – Describes how hard she studied for her test to be in the Whiz Kid competition.
This is truly a powerful story and I encourage you to read it on your own and share it with others. (NOTE: Box of tissues may be needed).