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The Acorn People

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  519 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Even though he knows the camp is for disabled children, Ron Jones anticipates sunny days of hiking, swimming, and boating as a counselor at Camp Wiggin. But he arrives and realizes how severely disabled the children are, it seems too much to bear. Until he meets his campers—The Acorn People. A group of kids who teach him that, inside, they are are the same as any average k ...more
Paperback, 89 pages
Published June 11th 1996 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 814)
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A.J.
This book is written from an able-bodied perspective that comes off as glorifying the able-bodied for dealing with disabled children rather than teaching about differences and acceptance. I feel that the author intentionally exaggerated the physical disabilities of the children to the point that they were grotesque and unreal. The book was short and many passages were vague and nondescript. And many times when a passage commented on some triumph or the children acting “normal,” he slams it back ...more
Michael
This is a short, simple little book with an enormous emotional impact. It is a book about the meaning of humanity, and how acceptance can bring joy and understanding, and why it is important to cherish each moment.

The author is not a brilliant writer, but they do know how to tell a story, probably from their background as an educator and a camp counselor. However, the simplicity of the writing increases its impact a bit because 1) the story is so compelling, you realize the author just had to g
...more
Glittery Mango (Ealee)
I had to read this book as an assignment in English class, and this book was so short that I just went ahead and finished it. I'll admit it, I hated the book in the beginning, Ron annoyed me, and i kept rolling my eyes. But in the last parts, it started to get a whole lot better. There was some humor, and this book I get the message and all that, but it didn't relate to me or have as big as an emotional impact. The epilogue was beautiful though, that was my favorite part of the book. I thought t ...more
Bren
I've seen this book open the eyes of my middle school students who read below grade level. Ron is a thoughtless jerk at the beginning of the story, and it is interesting to see him grow. While reading in class as we approach the end of the book we return to the first few pages and reread Ron's description of the lifeless bodies that he handles the first couple days. This is my favorite part of the novel discussion, as the students are now able to put names and personalities to those "bodies" and ...more
Lxsrbnsn9
This is a great story for young adults very inspiring
Rachel
I tend to hang out with special needs kids and have friends who have specials needs but mostly they are not physical problems. I automatically loved this book from the very first word to the very last word. I almost cried at the very end but didn't want to draw attention to myself in class. One of the best books (and probably is the best book) I have ever ever read. You see, I can't stand to reread a book unless I forgot it or want to. And want to reread a book happens very rarely. This book I w ...more
Marcy Janssen
All of the students at my school were required to read this book in their English class. There was also an assembly on diversity. The purpose was to get the students to recognize that even though someone might be different than they are, doesn't mean that they should be treated any differently (being picked on and etc). This book is great at showing how even students with different disabilities are still special and unique in their own way.

It's about this counselor who doesn't really know what a
...more
Virag
I just read this today as an extra-credit English class assignment. It's only 80 pages long, and heck, the pages are tiny, so I finished this book in less than an hour.

The Acorn People is about Ron Jones, a man who starts working at a summer camp. At the begining of the novel (or should I say novella??), he is majorly ****** off when he discovers that the kids in the camp have disabilities. And it's bad - some have missing limbs, or muscle/bone diseases, bladder problems, are blind and whatnot.
...more
Lily
I didn't like how it's just so discriminating in the beginning I know it was that time period and all but sheesh! reading it was just like reading a textbook from when blacks and whites were segregated, like it just made me very angry and made me feel depressed
Adrian
This book started out angering me from the first page. Then, it actually turned into a cute little story towards the middle. The end just sort of dropped off. I don't think I will ever want to reread this one, but I don't feel like I wasted time reading it once. It was a quick read. It only took the time that it did because I didn't have much free time this month.

I will say that this quote made it well worth it:
"Where am I going? And why am I at the base of this mountain fighting to see the top?
...more
Marcia
Aug 31, 2008 Marcia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers looking for books with diversity
Recommended to Marcia by: a classmate
Shelves: grades-4-6
I wanted to read this book for two reasons: it was recommended by a classmate and I had weeded it from my school collection last year (based on the physical condition and age of the book.) I needed to see if I should replace it.
The story is based on a true account of the author's experience as a counselor at a camp with handicapped children. Definitely a population that is under-represented in children's lit. But it is one of those books where I'm not sure who the intended audience is. Upper ele
...more
Andrea Pegarella
Read this with my sophomore class and it was a pleasant read. The drunken nurse was comedic but made an awesome statement about total acceptance and recognition and my whole class really connected with that. A little comedic relief is needed in dramatic pieces, but the nurse was deeper than the drunken porter in Macbeth; I found her stance on outsider's perceptions of disabled children to be applaudable. The characters could have been described in better detail, but the glimpse into each of thei ...more
Amy
I read this book in the 6th grade and along with Freak the Mighty it is one of the few books from that time in my life that I am really looking forward to re-reading. The entire book is centered around a summer camp for children with disabilities and actively deals with the trials and tribulations of both the counselor and the campers, known as "The Acorn People". There is no immediate acceptance of disabilities as "differently abled", both Ron and his campers go through an exceptional process t ...more
Casey
My son just read this for his 7th grade summer reading this year, and wanted me to read it next. We both enjoyed the book, but thought it really could have been offered in 5th or 6th grade. It was a very quick read, but sent a powerful message. Very similar to "Shouting At the Sky" , it gives an account of youth counselor who is not sure what to expect with this group of campers. The Acorn People was for a younger audience exploring what challenges developmentally disabled youth might be hurdlin ...more
Sanya!!
It was a good story but didn't wasn't really long enough to grasp it.... and the ending.... really?
Liz
"nice" book in that you feel a glimmer of hope and encouragement, but I really did not care for it, and will not use it in my classroom again. On a personal level, the description of what MS is was awful. i recognize that research has come a long way since this book was published, but I dealt with explaining to my students that, just like each of them, not every disability is the same and what MS really entails. (I am not an expert, nor am I a neophyte, I have MS)
Jacinda
Though well written and definitely heart-wrenching, The Acorn People by Ron Jones was quite brief. I found myself many times while reading it wishing for more description or more details about the camp experience. The author/counselor appeared to have the ability to portray his experiences with the campers in a more extensive manner (the scene with the hike was beautiful), but for some reason, Jones chose to keep his memoir disappointingly brief.
Simone
Ron Jones tells it like it is. There is a wonderful lesson to be learned in The Acorn People about pre-judging people based on their physical appearance. This story left me with a warm heart felt message about what true friends will do for eachother. This is a great book for 7th-8th graders. The content is heavy and teaches about disabilities.
Lindsay
I read this book in like 6th grade. I really enjoyed it then, and just remember sobbing and sobbing after reading the afterward. It's about a camp for handicapped and retarded kids and how the excel. After making you cheer and root for these kids, the afterward explains that they have all died b/c of their sickly conditions, a real tear jerker.
Alyssa
I loved this story so much (I got to read it in my college Special Education Class) that I now integrate it into my 8th grade English Lab. Though it is not on an 8th grade reading level, my struggling readers benefit from its vocabulary and story line. It fits in so well with the 8th grade theme of tolerance and acceptance.
Olivia Bresnahan
This was a very good book, it talked about disabled children and how they're no different then children that aren't disabled. In the beginning of the book it was very slow and not a lot happened, but in the middle it was still going at a slow pace and there wasn't a lot going on. By the end of the book i was really bored.
Sarah Arnone
This was one of my favorite books in Jr. High, it's a book for younger people but I really recomend reading it. The Acorn People is a heart felt story about a summer camp for disabled children. They have many obsticles to over come. I really enjoyed reading about each of their journeys.
Oscar
Just simply boring IMO.
Jones getting into the camp and played with them and blablabla.
And then the children all died. FIN.
Comparing to other stories that I have read before, this is probably the worst.
Truly boring and no exciting parts, or even parts that are enjoyable to read.
Emma Beyer
THE BEST BOOK EVER

I think everyone that read it will really like it
it's a amazing book
I also read
it for
a
book clube
Noreen Jane Bacordio
The story is about those handicapped children who are full of determination.
In the end, I feel depressed for I knew that the death of every principal character in this story is tragic.
This story would be beneficial for those who are thinking that they are hopeless.
:)
Cheryl
I love this book. It is a book I use to teach my students about physical defects or birth defects. The kids love to hate it. They do cheer with the kids at the end of the book, but realize just how important it is to accept those who are different then themselves.
Brittany
A heartwarming story about a group of disabled children who go to the same camp and become friends. The counselor (the author) is unsure of what to do at first, but that soon changes as they get used to one another and do what they've been told is impossible.

Sarah
A fast read with some very real and startling observations on how we can affect another's sense of humanity. By treating someone like a human being with worth, they act like a human being with worth. This is a book that can be a great discussion, if you let it.
Wendy
I had to read this in college for a introduction to disabilities class. It is about a young man who becomes a camp counselor at a camp for kids with disabilities. It may be a bit dated but the statement is still pertinent. People are people no matter what.
Terrie
Ron Jones teenage account of his experience as a leader in a camp for handicapped children. Both the bad and inspiriring sides are told equally well. A fast read for 5th, 6th graders who might need to learn a little compassion or gratitude.
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“Why can't life be like this? Human beings in all their magnificence. Working to find that moment of pride. That one second of excellence at being alive...The feeling of belonging not just to oneself but to the entire universe.” 2 likes
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