Friday, August 27, 2010

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings

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 untimately must confront every blind person's dilema. 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.

Still another ARC I had requested and Priscilla had sent me, along with an upcoming interview. This novel is geared to ages 10 and up. It is written in their pov as well, although it has a deeper adult feelining as well. One cool thing the author features in the back of the book is a Braille guide to help decipher some of the captions in the story.

As I read the story I had conflicting emotions. The characters blaise sense of humor to their conditions, with my outsider view- not out of pity, but I felt more of an aggravation that anyone should have to be in the position of being blind.

There were so many scenes that stuck out in this story. One of them that stuck out most with me was the scene with Arnab and Natalie on the bench. It was heartbreaking and the compassion between the two was so intimate in the not so typical way that it made me emotional. This was the scene that began the flow of all of the sad events to come throughout the novel.

I began to look out for, and notice the various Braille signs and plaques in my own community, throughout the time that I was reading this story. When I did encounter it I was highly appreciative for it. Before I was simply indifferent. This novel was an eye-opener for me and has brought about a great enlightenment towards the blind community.

Favorite quotes:
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched- they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

"The thing was, if you wanted to survive you had to keep going...Even when it hurt. had to walk around the holes in your life, instead of falling through them."

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