4.4 34
by Priscilla Cummings

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In many ways, Natalie O'Reilly is a typical fourteenyear- old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she's told

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In many ways, Natalie O'Reilly is a typical fourteenyear- old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she's told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person's dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Arthur Dixon
Blindsided provides a window into the thoughts and feelings of a girl who is losing her sight. The author uses both emotional language and concrete research into blindness to place the reader in the protagonist's situation. While the plot is somewhat predictable, the concept behind it will interest many teenagers, especially those who have dealt with a disability themselves. The book inspires thoughtfulness and reflection on the power of sight and those who lack it. Reviewer: Arthur Dixon, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
When she was eight, Natalie began to lose her sight to glaucoma. Now she is fourteen, and in spite of her fervent prayers, her world has been reduced to a pinprick, and even that seems to be diminishing. To prepare for the possibility of complete blindness, her parents decide to send her to a special school for the blind. But Natalie doesn't want to go—she is determined to keep her sight. At her new school, she is expected to use a cane, learn how to navigate using landmarks, and defend herself by following sound. Natalie wants no part of it. She doesn't want to look like a freak. What Natalie doesn't realize is how desperately she will soon need her newfound skills or what strength she is capable of, with or without sight. Blindsided is like a public service message for teens. It informs readers of the struggles the blind face and the adaptations they must make to survive in a sighted world. To make things more exciting in this informative and, frankly, rather dull novel, there are two scenes in which Natalie must confront her fears and face danger. Unfortunately, these two scenes come much too late to relieve the overall tedium. Teens will not be drawn to this novel for its entertainment value; rather it will be because they or someone they know has been personally affected by blindness. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Natalie is gradually going blind from juvenile glaucoma. Ever since she was eight years old, she has gradually watched the visible world shrink, in spite of multiple surgeries and daily eye drops to reduce the pressure in her eyes. Finally, her doctor delivers the bad news that there is no hope of her being able to recover her vision and Natalie's parents decide she needs to attend the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore. Resentful and still in denial, Natalie resists learning Braille and learning to use a cane because that would mean accepting her imminent blindness. She also, however, has a class in self-defense skills and this saves her when she and her friend Bree are attacked by two drunken men while walking back from the nearby shopping center. However, her friend dies from complications resulting from the attack and Natalie is devastated by the loss. She retreats to the family's goat farm and withdraws from the world, until the night when her favorite goat nears her delivery date, and Natalie needs to babysit while her parents go out. Along with her best friend, Meredith, Natalie manages to deliver triplets and kill a marauding bear that is trying to get into the goat barn. Natalie's confidence is restored and she returns to school to start living her life again. Readers understand the difficulties not just of a teen's disability, but also of dealing with the world's reaction to it. The most valuable aspect of this book is the wealth of information offered on dealing with sight loss. There are multiple causes, progressions, and individual responses. The author thoughtfully provides a copy of the Braille alphabet at the end of the book. This would make a useful resource for discussions around the need to respond to the diversity of disabilities in a more empathetic way. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
April Wulber
Natalie O'Reilly was born with a congenital eye disease. At the age of 14, her sight had deteriorated so much that she feared losing her vision. Until this point, she believed that there would be a cure, that she would get better. At the start of her freshman year, Natalie's parents send her to the Maryland School for the Blind. They were hoping that she would have time to learn Braille and other ways to survive if she truly did end up losing her sight. One November morning, Natalie awakens to find her sight gone completely. Her world becomes gray. She hasn't spent enough time at the school to learn many things. Natalie is faced with deciding how she's going to react to her new reality. She faces several crises where having her sight wouldn't help her. Dealing with those crises helps her come to terms with the changes. Reviewer: April Wulber
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Natalie, 14, knows that her future is becoming dimmer as the loss of her eyesight is a nightmare she can't avoid. Her vision has been diminishing from a congenital disease since she was eight, but now the prognosis is not if, but when. As she states, "You can't prepare for going blind." Part of going from denial to acceptance is attending a boarding school for the blind. Hostile, angry, and uncooperative at first, she slowly begins to concentrate on learning Braille, using her cane, taking self-defense classes, and making new friends. This story probes the overlooked gifts of physical normalcy and brings awareness to the tremendous barriers the blind face—visible and otherwise. Natalie is a credible character and her fear is palpable and painful. From boarding-school life where she and her roommate are attacked by drunks, to back at her family's farm where all goes wrong, readers follow her emotional and physical struggle. First there's the compromised birth of a goat, and Natalie must reach into the birth canal to save the baby. As she notes "Even eyesight wouldn't help her now." Meanwhile, a rabid bear is beating down the barn door. This all-at-once action is a bit over-the-top, but it showcases Natalie's emergence from despair and her capabilities. Readers will enjoy the high drama and heroics.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Priscilla Cummings lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Blindsided 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings is about how a 14 year old girl named Natalie who has to deal with going blind. She use to be the little miss perfect girl on the block. Natalie lived on a barn and owned about 8 goats. That was until she started going blind. Her world then completely turned upside down. Natalie didn’t like the thought of losing her eyesight. Her parents soon make her go to a school for the blind. She doesn’t feel like she belongs there with all the other blind kids. Natalie must learn how to use a cane, cross the road by herself, and how to read and write braille. Throughout this book you will see her life changing completely forever. Going blind isn’t easy, especially when you are only 14. If you like books that tell a story about someone’s life problems, then this is a book for you. The genre of this book is fiction and is a young adult read. There are some swears and some inappropriate things that they talk about. I enjoyed this book, but there were a few things that I didn’t like so much. I wish we got to know more about the other characters. When reading this book you only get to know the main character really well. All of the other characters are just in the book but you don’t get to know them. I did like the Climax of the book. I thought it was well written and I kept wanting to turn the page. I think this book deserves a 3 star rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I learned so much about blindness. Its amazingly sad and touching. Must read.
Mark Kirchner More than 1 year ago
i got on the 11 th page and loved it! I almost cryed when well youll find out when or if you buy this AMAZING , book i highly recomend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soooo i read this book a while ago and yet it still makes me want to read it and not put it down. It really is touchkng and girls that r 14-16 years old should read it!!!!!natalie is soo cool
ComaCalm More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you were told you were going blind? In Natalie's case, she goes into complete denial, even after being enrolled in a Blind School. There she learns many lessons, other than Braille and using a cane, and makes many friends along the way. The story is a really quick, enjoyable read and I quite enjoyed it. Of course, there were a few things that I didn't enjoy so much, which seems to be a common peeve of readers - Cummings becomes quite extreme at times, throwing so many life lessons and perilous situations at me I felt like a moron. A lot of it is basically saying, 'Look! Blind people can go to the mall if they want to!' and other parts were just silly. Despite this, I really enjoyed Natalie's story. Of the characters, I liked Bree a lot. Despite her attitude when we first meet her, you learn about her past later on and she tries her best to make amends. Natalie is similar, at first she shuns everything, refuses to use her cane but after falling down the stairs and knocking herself out (true) she realises that she can't be in denial forever. I found it a little odd that Natalie was the perfect girl-next-door farm girl, whereas the rest of the characters had some pretty serious histories but I think that was part of Cummings way of drilling life lessons into our heads...
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Natalie is slowly losing her eyesight. When she was about eight, she started to stumble and walk into things. Born without irises, the part that controls the amount of light allowed into the eye, the pressure is continuing to grow. Having endured multiple surgeries and continuous eye drops, Natalie prays that she won't go totally blind. But a few weeks before school is to start, she receives the worst possible news. There is nothing more they can do for Natalie, and now, it's best she be prepared. The doctor tells her that one day, she could wake up and be completely blind. So, with reluctance, she is sent off to the blind school in Baltimore. Natalie considers herself different than everyone else. After all, she can still see. And some of the kids at the school require a lot more help. There's even a sign above her bed that says "Makes own bed." It angers Natalie. Natalie is resistant to what the school wants to teach her. She refuses to use a cane. She can't tell the difference in the Braille dots. She finds the Brailler machine hard to use. It's all so pointless. That is, until the day Natalie has prayed would never happen occurs. She literally wakes up one morning and is unable to see. From that day forward, Natalie is determined to learn all she can. BLINDSIDED follows Natalie as she comes to terms with her disability. It shares her father's denial of her vision loss, her mother's push for Natalie to succeed, and the wonderful teachers that force Natalie to do all that she can. When Natalie is placed in two different situations where her disability could harm her, the reader realizes that blindness doesn't stop someone from living; it just forces them to develop different priorities and strengths.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sample only goes to copyright page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the most amazong book! Also one of the saddest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first time I put my face into this book, I couldn't stop reading! I always had my face in the book! It was very touching. It totally changed my perspective of blind people. I highly recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loving it have had it and meant to read it for a while. I am currently loving this book. 2 Thumbs Up! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is touching story filled with laughs and tears.the twist and turns in this book makes me unable to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG I love this book read then reread then rereead! Soooooo good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first picked up this book i thought it was going to be an ok book. It really suprized me because it was amazing. When i finished it i didnt want to put it down. I wish so badly that it was a series. I also wish that her relationship with arnab would have gone a little bit farther.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book. It had tons of exciting parts like the bear attack and the goat triplets. It also had some really sad parts like when she goes blind and when bree dies. It was a totally awesome book. I totally recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and all i can say is WOW! this book is the best i really wish it was longer but i am so glad i gave this book a second chance read this book! It is faburific
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOME!!!!!!! Such a great book!!! i would DEFINATLY reccomend it to anyone!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont buy books if i cant read some of the book first. So is it good.?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to ask, is this book really all that good? Oh, and is there any romance?
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