Gerber, Alyson Braced, 304 pages. Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), MARCH 2017. $17. Content: G.
As 7th grade starts, Rachel is excited to become starter on her school’s soccer team. But, she has always known that there is possibility that she might have to wear a brace – her mother had her spine fused because of scoliosis and Rachel is a possible candidate. When the dreaded news is handed down, Rachel is sure that her life and her soccer career are over. Her friend, teammates, and school acquaintances have different degrees of support and disdain for Rachel’s new challenge. Things at home aren’t much smoother – even though her mother endured a brace of her own, Rachel doesn’t feel like she has much empathy for her plight.
Gerber manages to write to teaching book that flows as a natural read. Drawing upon her own experiences wearing a scoliosis brace, she addresses the issues in a way that will help and educate without preaching. Rachel is a very relatable character and her friends are just the right blend of clueless and helpful to ring true to the age group.
EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher