Ally's Reviews > Accidents of Nature

Accidents of Nature by Harriet McBryde Johnson
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Jun 23, 11

Recommended for: Everyone. Especially those going into PSW or special education careers
Read from June 19 to 22, 2011

*mild spoilers ahoy*

Loved this book. Well, okay, some of it rubbed a bit too raw, and the scene of the counselors teasing the campers sexually made me absolutely sick to my stomach, but only because it was so true. It's gritty and sharp and smart and mean, but it's also real and sort of sweet, in it's way. The scene with Robert yelling about the canoe made me cheer right along with the campers, and though I found Sarah an insufferable know-it-all about as often as Jean did, she was also so realistic in her insecurities and her anger, and she, like every other character was so darned LIKABLE that I could forgive her transgressions. Jean's attitude toward herself and her disability, and the transformation the book wrought was painstaking and honest.

I'm a member of the exclusive 'crip' club myself, and I've been to the camps, and reading this book was a sometimes painful reminder of my own strange, often agonizing, adolescence. The primary feeling, from me, after reading this book is that this is EXACTLY why enabled people should not write books about us. A book this honest is much too rare. I want every time I read about disabilities for it to ring as true as this book.

This is the book that I should have read at fifteen, and then passed on to every single person who ever said to me, "But *I* don't see you that way at all!"
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Erin Great review - my feelings exactly. I feel like this book is only something us crips could fully understand, especially those of us who are targeted by telethons and pity. Jean's transformation mirrors my own, and Sara is who I relate to most today - minus her occasional meanness.


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