Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book


Spring 2017 Audio Book
Ages: 12 & Up
Producer: Hachette Audio
CD Price: $22.98

Will has been blind from birth. But when heading into his freshman year in high school, he decides to trade the familiar comfort of the blind school he's known for years, for the completely unfamiliar public one.

Although saddled with many typical teenage trials - a hovering mother, for instance, and a desire to blend in, Will quickly finds a group of friends, and forms an especially close bond with Cecily. They start out as partner reporters for the school paper, then blossom into more.

The author's skill in developing relationships, especially the one between Will and Cecily, make this an especially strong story. It's both authentic and eloquent as it challenges characters to re-think not only how and why they experience different things, but also how and why they experience things differently. It's less a story about one boy who can't see, and more a story about what many people don't. It's a story about perspectives.

In one scene at an art museum, Cecily and Will - who is allowed to touch the paintings - trade sensory experiences about a Van Gogh. To hear them work to explain different worlds each has taken for granted, in terms the other will understand, will stretch the reader/listener's own imagination. It's subtle, but penetrating, and beautifully done.

Will and Cecily's youthful romance in itself makes a lovely book, but Sundquist adds a spectacular twist. What if Will gets the opportunity to see? And what if Cecily, and in turn his family and friends, have kept secret a very significant part of how she ... looks? He does, and she did, and it plays out in a touching and wonderfully honest way.

Pat Young, as narrator, adds the perfect aural touch. He almost makes you forget he's there, in an intimate sensory journey that will touch both mind and heart.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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Hachette Audio

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