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Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs Paperback – January 1, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-10?A collection of 45 brief essays by children and young adults who have a sibling with special needs, ranging from mental retardation through a number of rare syndromes. The writings are arranged in chronological order, from that of a 4 year old to an 18 year old. As such, they vary in quality as well as in insights into family relationships. The writings seem to be quite honest as some children come right out and say that they feel they are treated unfairly and that their siblings can get away with things that they cannot. In most cases, however, the children speak out against those who make fun of or misunderstand the youngsters who are different. As such, this book would be useful for schools that have special-ed programs or a number of mainstreamed students for it concentrates on what special-needs children can do rather than what they cannot, and makes a firm statement advocating community support for all members of the family. The final piece is an eloquent plea for giving opportunities to special children. The drawings illustrate the children in sometimes amusing ways and add informality rather than clarification. Information on the special needs is included, as well as addresses and Web sites to find more information. The disabilities or disorders are explained in a glossary. This is certainly a different kind of book on developmental disabilities and, as such, fills a need.?Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. Although the number of books about disabled children has grown steadily, not many nonfiction books explore the feelings of a disabled child's brother or sister. These unpretentious, honest snippets, contributed by 45 children ranging in age from 4 ("My Mommy and Daddy told me that Nicole was born very early and her brain got hurt") to 18, seek to fill that gap. In talking about their sibs and their feelings, the writers admit to embarrassment ("I'm sure glad he doesn't go to my school . . . if they find out that he's my brother, they'd laugh"), anger, and jealousy. But at the same time, they show how protective and loving and surprisingly wise they are when it comes to getting along in a family that is different. Black-and-white sketches are scattered through the text, and a glossary of medical conditions and a helpful list of support sources are appended. Stephanie Zvirin