Archive | 7:41 am
4 Jun

One of my favorite  reads when I was a young teen, was  Deenie, by Judy Blume.

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It was the story of a girl named Deenie, who develops scoliosis and has to wear a huge brace. When I entered high school in 1978, one of the girls in my year wore just such a brace for scoliosis. I felt like I had some insight into what she was living with.

Armed with this background, I was eager to read Alyson Gerber’s Braced.

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From the author’s website:Rachel Brooks is excited for the new school year. She’s finally earned a place as a forward on her soccer team. Her best friends make everything fun. And she really likes Tate, and she’s pretty sure he likes her back. After one last appointment with her scoliosis doctor, this will be her best year yet.

Then the doctor delivers some terrible news: The sideways curve in Rachel’s spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace twenty-three hours a day. The brace wraps her in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. It changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a ball, and how everyone sees her — even her friends and Tate. But as Rachel confronts all the challenges the brace presents, the biggest change of all may lie in how she sees herself.

This was as compelling a read as Deenie. Rachels’ mom had scoliosis as a teen and lived the Deenie experience. As a result she projects her experience onto Rachel, adding an element of parental pressure that Deenie  didn’t have, but many teens can relate to.

Although Rachel is in high school, and there is a little bit of romance, it is chaste enough for middle schoolers

 

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