- Kirkus Reviews
"Spinner incorporates elements of horror into a young adult read that is riveting and centered upon powerful protagonists that are well-drawn. The 'added value' in this story...lies in its...scenes that take the trappings of teen horror and turn them into something much more developed. Young adult to adult readers will find Spinner compelling and vivid."
- Midwest Book Review
"Michael manages to include many topics within the story, from bullying, to dealing with being in a special education class, to what it is like to be in love with someone who does not love you the same way, and much more."
- Readers' Favorite
"Bowler has created a tangible cast of characters who nearly leap off the page as they come to life in this highly suspenseful book...which is sure to keep readers enthralled clear through to its finale."
- Literary Classics
"Bowler offers some astute observations about teen life - capturing the doubt and insecurity of adolescence - and addresses important themes for maturing young adults, channeled through realistic character dynamics and camaraderie."
- Red City Review
From the Author
Whether labeled general education or special education, all kids have unique gifts and talents and personalities and can contribute positively to this world. I've lived with a disability my entire life - hearing impairment - and I met no one even close to my age with hearing loss until after graduate school. I was very much a singularity.
My disability was a drawback with teachers who talked a lot or didn't articulate clearly, but it didn't stop me from learning. It made me a visual and tactile learner. It allowed me to see more of the world around me because I couldn't "hear" the world with the same precision as my peers. It did make playing on sports teams a frustrating experience for all the mistakes I made from mishearing the coach or other players on the field. It did make discerning song lyrics difficult, especially through the old radio speakers we had in those days, and that isolated me from most of my peers who could quote songs from memory.
But the "disability" never defined me.
Later, as a teacher who worked with kids like the characters in this book, I strove to emphasize their abilities, not their disabilities, because I knew that's all most people ever talked about, and they loved me for doing that.
We spend way too much time in this country focusing on what we perceive to be the weaknesses or differences of others. As the kids in Spinner clearly prove, our strengths always outweigh our weaknesses. If more adults would focus on the strengths of kids, on their natural talents and gifts, especially kids with disabilities, instead of always trying to "fix" the disability or make all kids conform to some normative standard of learning, then every child would have a real chance to soar.
For every "disability," there is an equal or more powerful "ability." Every kid I ever taught showed me this universal truth. They've made my life magical, and Spinner is my tribute to them.