Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Medical Diagnosis Is ... : Booktalk 1

[You’ll be doing the next three booktalks in first person narration. For this booktalk, you’ll need a pair of dark sunglasses to wear.]

Most of you think dark glasses are pretty cool, right? Well, I don’t wear them to be cool. I wear them as protection from your stares. That’s right -- you. See, I’m slowly going blind. My name’s Natalie, and I’m a regular teenager, except for the fact that I was born with some abnormalities in my eyes, so it’s always been hard for my eyes to adjust to light, which then causes a host of other problems. As a kid, I started tripping, falling, and having serious accidents because my vision was deteriorating. Reading became hard because I couldn’t see the letters, and by the time I was in middle school, I could not see well enough to get from classroom to classroom. It was scary and embarrassing. I had to count and memorize the steps between classes, and even then, things could go wrong. The summer before I started high school, I had my seventh eye surgery operation. It did not make my eyesight any better. And soon after that, just as the doctor hinted, my eyesight started to get worse. Basically, I’m getting ready to go completely blind. I can’t function in Western Allegany, my small public high school, because it just doesn’t have any technology for the blind. So my parents have sent me away to a Baltimore school for the blind, which is where I am now. It’s got an interesting group of teens. I live in dorm with a group of girls, some of whom are cool, and some of whom aren’t. I’m learning Braille and how to get around with a cane, which is harder than you think. When you’re blind, you’re far more vulnerable than sighted people, also -- both physically and emotionally. In spite of all that they’re teaching me here, there’s one thing I can promise you. No one and nothing can prepare you for going blind. This is my story. Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings.

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings. 226 p. Dutton Children’s Books, 2010. Booktalk to high school, even adult.

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