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BLINDSIDED by Priscilla Cummings

BLINDSIDED

By Priscilla Cummings

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42161-0
Publisher: Dutton

Born without an iris, a condition known as sporadic aniridia, 14-year-old Natalie faces the harsh reality that she will become blind. Preparing for the inevitable, Natalie’s parents enroll her in a school for blind and disabled students miles away from home, with the intent that she will learn basic living skills. Distraught at leaving lifelong friends and her sophomore year, Natalie fights her new school and sets herself apart from the other students, in part because she believes that she isn’t one of them. However, as Natalie’s vision continues to fail, she begins to slowly befriend her classmates, learning their stories, sharing their jokes and, most importantly, drawing on their hope. Although told from Natalie’s third-person perspective, which spares no detail of her fight to keep her vision, Natalie’s classmates also provide distinct and multidimensional voices that powerfully introduce life with vision loss, which will open the eyes of those unfamiliar with this disability. A final short section on Braille offers a basic view of the alphabet’s structure. (Fiction. YA)