Gr 4-7--The preface states the intent of all Open Mind books: to create children's literature that promotes inclusion and celebrates the richness of differences. This story revolves around Kathryn, a physically challenged child who cannot walk, and her friend Haley, who breaks her leg and is unable to go to school with her leg in a cast. Kathryn then loans her an old, unused wheelchair. The remainder of the novel is devoted to a description of the daily experiences the two girls have in their wheelchairs. The problem with this novel is that good intentions do not bring forth good literature. The story is filled with positive role models, but the plot is all but nonexistent, and the author uses a sledge-hammer approach to the issues at hand. If one of the points is that the challenges certain children face should not receive undue attention, that goal is missed because of an overemphasis on the wheelchairs, which become more formidable "characters" than the girls themselves. The dialogue is totally unconvincing. Readers can always hear the ever-present adult speaking through the characters. Moreover, conversations are plagued with "she said" and "she replied" repetitions that soon become grating. Great stories do instruct, raise serious questions, and promote admirable values. They succeed, however, because they are first and foremost great stories. This one doesn't come close.
Jerry D. Flack, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Open Minds Inc, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX188892778X
Book Description Open Minds Inc, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M188892778X