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A Roller Coaster Down

by Mary Lash Vasant Garcia

All Bernadette (Bernie) O'Brien, an underachieving, overweight 14-year-old, who happens to be blind, wants is an average share of happiness. Instead, her life is on a runaway roller coaster that can only plummet down. As she begins her freshman year at Desert Vista High School, Bernie yearns to win love from Jason, her sister's football-star boyfriend. Instead, child-like Nick attaches himself to Bernie like acne. Then Bernie's best friend, Leese, dumps her for more popular girls during the first week of school. Bernie keeps her head up and makes friends at the losers'; table--until Jason hits on one of those friends. Bernie's health spirals downward, but she refuses to accept a diagnosis of kidney disease. When Leese falsely accuses a young teacher of abusing her, Bernie falters between the choice of regaining their friendship or saving the teacher's career. Failed by those she idealizes, despising her own weaknesses, Bernie loses herself in the desert of her own hopelessness. "A Roller Coaster Down" is a luminous, gently humorous story of failure and redemption, of the universal hunt for love and self-respect.

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Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the "Using Bookshare" page in the Help Center.

Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.

  • Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
  • DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
  • BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
  • MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
  • DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivona's Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.