Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble


4.4 34
by Priscilla Cummings

View All Available Formats & Editions

Fourteen-year-old Natalie O'Reilly's world is turned upside down with the news that she will soon go blind. As if this weren't shocking enough, she is forced to face the fact that she must now attend a school for the blind to learn Braille and how to use a cane. As Natalie tackles the skills that will help her to survive in a sighted world, she inwardly hopes for a


Fourteen-year-old Natalie O'Reilly's world is turned upside down with the news that she will soon go blind. As if this weren't shocking enough, she is forced to face the fact that she must now attend a school for the blind to learn Braille and how to use a cane. As Natalie tackles the skills that will help her to survive in a sighted world, she inwardly hopes for a miracle that will save her sight. But will that miracle come, or will she need to learn to embrace her new life?

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

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
710L (what's this?)
File size:
326 KB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Priscilla Cummings lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >