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Reaching for Sun [NOOK Book]

Overview

Josie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family's small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another mansion grows up behind it. She lives with her career-obsessed mom and opinionated Gran, but has never known her father. Then there's her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can't seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy-Jordan-moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. Before long, ...
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Reaching for Sun

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Overview

Josie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family's small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another mansion grows up behind it. She lives with her career-obsessed mom and opinionated Gran, but has never known her father. Then there's her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can't seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy-Jordan-moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. Before long, Josie finds herself reaching out for something she's never really known: a friend... and possibly more. Interlinked free verse poems tell the beautiful, heartfelt story of a girl, a family farm reduced to a garden, and a year of unforgettable growth.

About the Author

TRACIE VAUGHN ZIMMER's first teaching assignment was special education. She taught high school students with autism and middle school children with developmental and learning disabilities. She holds a master's degree in reading education and is the author of a book of poetry, Sketches from a Spy Tree (Clarion). She loves living in Waxhaw, North Carolina, with her family but will always consider Ohio her home. tracievaughnzimmer.com
Reviews « "Josie's strength shines as she handles sadness and loss as well as recovery and progress. Readers living with a disability or trying to understand others seem like the target audience, but Josie's voice has a universal appeal," -Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Written in verse, this quick-reading, appealing story will capture readers' hearts with its winsome heroine and affecting situations." -Booklist "Garden imagery wends its way through this eloquent free verse novel. ...Zimmer infuses Josie's story with distinctive auxiliary characters." -Horn Book "An easy-reading drama that may particularly entice reluctant readers." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Readers of all levels will enjoy spending tim
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Josie, a girl with cerebral palsy, lives on the shrinking farmland owned by her family for generations and now being sold to developers. Her mother works and attends college and her grandmother tends her diminished patch of land. The story is told in the seventh-grader's voice in a series of free-verse poems. She is a bright and wry narrator, acutely aware of her limitations and her strengths. When Jordan, wealthy but neglected by his widowed father, moves into a mansion behind her farmhouse, they discover a common love of nature and science, and Josie finally has a real friend. She and her grandmother are both passionate about plants and gardening, and Zimmer does a nice job integrating botanical images throughout the novel. Josie feels like a "dandelion in a purple petunia patch" and thinks, "I must be a real disappointment—/stunted foliage,/no yield." Through growing maturity and Granny's wisdom, she gains confidence in herself. Reaching for Sun will have wide appeal for readers of diverse ability. Reluctant readers will be attracted to the seeming simplicity of the text, with short chapters and lots of white space on the page. They may not even realize that they are reading poetry. More sophisticated readers will find added enjoyment as they begin to appreciate the poetic structure and imagery. Readers of all levels will enjoy spending time with Josie and may gain an increased awareness of what it's like to live with a disability.—Nancy Brown, Fox Lane High School, Bedford, NY

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Josie's cerebral palsy has made her an outsider at school, but at home she is one of three strong women with a rewarding routine. Her mother is working hard to become a landscape designer, leaving Gran to keep the home and garden blossoming. Events unfold in one free-verse poem after another with titles that hint at the narrative but usually work equally well at capturing one distinctive moment in time. Readers gradually learn about Josie and a new-found friend, Jordan, who sees a whole person, not just a disability. Gran becomes ill, Jordan tries out hanging with the in-crowd and Mom has to adjust to new realities. Josie's strength shines as she handles sadness and loss as well as recovery and progress. Readers living with a disability or trying to understand others seem like the target audience, but Josie's voice has a universal appeal. (Fiction. 9-12)
From the Publisher
From Booklist

Written in verse, this quick-reading, appealing story will capture readers' hearts with its winsome heroine and affecting situations. —Booklist

From Kirkus Reviews

*Starred Review* Josie's strength shines as she handles sadness and loss as well as recovery and progress. Readers living with a disability or trying to understand others seem like the target audience, but Josie's voice has a universal appeal.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

From Horn Book

Garden imagery wends its way through this eloquent free verse novel. …Zimmer infuses Josie's story with distinctive auxiliary characters. —Horn Book

From The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

An easy-reading drama that may particularly entice reluctant readers. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

From School Library Journal

Readers of all levels will enjoy spending time with Josie and may gain an increased awareness of what it's like to live with a disability.

School Library Journal

From TeensReadToo.com

I definitely recommend this book for any girls who love to read, and I guarantee that you will love it just like I did. I give it 4 stars! —TeensReadToo.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599908120
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/10/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 657,837
  • Age range: 8 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer has worked as a special education teacher and reading specialist. She is also the creator of more than 80 teacher's guides for numerous publishers (including Bloomsbury), and has published a book of poetry, Sketches from a Spy Tree, a NYPL Best Book. She lives in [Waxhaw, North Carolina.] tracievaughnzimmer.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Wonderful.

    I love this book, and how it is a bunch of poems in one big story. This author is amazing. Keep them coming, please!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2012

    Very good book! Think about your best friend. You probably did

    Very good book!

    Think about your best friend. You probably didn’t have a hard time meeting them or just being yourself around them. For most people, making friends is something they don’t think twice about, it just comes natural. But there are other people that making friends is quite difficult. Josie, the main character in the book, has cerebral palsy and struggles making friends. She is in a special education classroom and is very embarrassed about it. Josie’s mom keeps making a big deal about her having this disability. Josie just wants to live her life and not be reminded every second that she has something wrong with her. Jordan, Josie’s new neighbor has shown her that she can be herself and not be embarrassed about her disability. Josie gets really comfortable about being around Jordan. Unlike all of the other people in school that just looked, pointed and stared at Josie, Jordan flat out asked Josie if she had cerebral palsy. He was actually asking her questions about it and letting her express her feelings about her disability. Josie starts to struggle with things in her life with the three people that she feels most comfortable around, but she handles them fairly well. Through all of her struggles, her mother tells her that she believes in her. Josie said that it was like sun shinning on her face through all of her troubles she recently encountered.

    Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. There are several types of cerebral palsy. Some causes may include bleeding in the brain, and brain injuries. Symptoms of Cerebral palsy include: loss of coordination, abnormal walk, muscle weakness, speech problems, hearing or vision problems, decreased intelligence or learning disabilities, along with several others.

    The book had a really good moral to the story and incorporated a real life disability to the reader. Even though this book was fiction, it still could have been a real life story and the author really expressed that well.

    As a prospective teacher, I think that this book would be very helpful in the classroom. If I knew that a student with a disability of some sort was going to be in my classroom, then I would try and use this book. Not only would this help the classmates of the student with the disability, but I think it would help the student with the disability as well. It would help the classmates understand the concept of a disability and make them aware of them. It would put the student with the disability at ease, knowing that the classmates understand more about disabilities and aren’t going to stare and gossip about them. That they know that just because a person has a disability doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings. This book would help show my students that just because someone has a disability, it shouldn't control their life and the way people treat them. You should treat someone as a person and not just see them as a person with a disability.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewd by Kylie for TeensReadToo.com

    Josie Wyatt is trying to live as normal a life as possible, but there's one thing that's stopping her--her cerebral palsy. <BR/><BR/>Josie lives in a small farmhouse with her mother and grandma that is surrounded by huge mansions. Josie's mother is always at work and whenever she's at home she's always busy. Her grandmother loves gardening and never keeps any comments to herself. At school, everyone knows that Josie attends special ed, but when a strange new boy, Jordan, moves into the neighborhood, he never thinks of her as different, just normal. <BR/><BR/>At the end of the school year, Josie and Jordan have become close friends, and all Josie wants to do is spend the whole summer with Jordan--but Jordan has another plan, which is to go to basketball camp. Josie can't imagine a summer without Jordan and she doesn't know how to cope when her grandma has a stoke. <BR/><BR/>REACHING FOR SUN by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is a wonderful novel full of free-verse poems that tell the story of a pre-teen girl dealing with the fact that she has cerebral palsy. I definitely recommend this book for any girls who love to read, and I guarantee that you will love it just like I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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