Accidents of Nature

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Reviews of Accidents of Nature (1 review)

5 - Excellent Review

Reviewer:

This is a young adult novel by famed disability rights activist Harriet McBryde Johnson. It's simply wonderful. I've never read anything that captures the disability experience better. Basically a simple story about Jean, a teen with C.P. who spends two weeks at the mythical, but all too real summer camp courage. There she pals around with a group of other disabled teens, whose ringleader, Sarah is the author's alter-ego. Sarah by contrast is a troublemaker, who speaks out against the conventional wisdom of treating disabled people as brave cripples who we must only pretend can contribute to society. Like many coming-of-age characters, Jean must confront herself, realizing that up until now she's been the crip that Sarah decries. Jean has always gone to school with non-disabled kids, pretending that she isn't any different. Confronting her own differences at the end of the novel, she knows she has to forge a unique path towards her adulthood. If you like fiction about disabled people, this is a must read. There is no politics, no lecturing, no strident voices or grating tone. The characters are so breathtakingly real you will feel like you went to camp with them too when the novel is over.