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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Reaching for the Sun* by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer- middle grades book review
Also by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer:

The Floating Circus
Reaching for the Sun
by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Grades 5-8 144 pages Bloomsbury USA March 2007 Hardcover    

What is twelve months in the life of a thirteen-year-old girl like Josie? It is the chasm that separates struggling to hide your differences and learning to like yourself.

Josie is a very smart teen who just happens to have cerebral palsy. She has grown up with strong, courageous female role models. Josie’s Gran struggles to hold on to the small patch of land that is all that is left of her family’s farm. Every year, she tends her garden with great care and shares its abundance with the elderly residents of Lazy Acres Home.

Josie’s mom has tackled the role of single parent with a vengeance, returning to school to build a better life for her and her daughter. When the grand mansions that have sprouted on what was once their family farm produces eleven-year-old Jordan, Josie finally learns what it is to have a real friend, one who sees past the limitations of her disease.

Through free-verse style, the reader follows Josie through this year and experiences with her friendship, shame, pride and appreciation for what we have been given. This is a genuine look at the abilities, and disabilities, of young teens through intergenerational relationships and self-acceptance.

Reaching for the Sun is a worthy addition for Health curriculums in middle school, as well as Social Studies curriculums for the same age group.
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