J. Kennedy's Reviews > My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel
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Jul 30, 11

bookshelves: memoir, schnieder-family-book-award, nonfiction, young-adult, disability
Read from July 28 to 30, 2011

Abeel, an intellectually gifted child with a learning disability falls through the cracks of the education system. Her brightness camouflages the fact she never mastered basic mathematical skills. As she enters junior high the coping strategies she’d used in elementary school aren’t sufficient. She experiences paralyzing anxiety, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite and antisocial behavior

Drowning in feelings of inadequacy and despair she’s at a loss about what to do. Samantha’s disability is diagnosed as dyscalculia which explains her difficulty with math, spelling, memorizing her locker combination, and telling time. Her diagnosis is a relief, and she’s placed in a special education math class.

Around the same time she finds she excels at writing. She collaborates with her English teacher, a painter and her mom to publish a book of poetry, art, and explanation of being learning disabled. As a published author and speaker she finds her confidence and a sense of well-being. The story is not only heartwarming, but inspiring.
I highly recommend this book. 5 of 5

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