Book Review · Books

Sick Girl Secrets

Natalie thinks her life in high school is going great, until being sick morphs into having surgery and needing a wheelchair. Why does life suck? Kids at school can be jerks. A wheelchair will just be like a big red bull’s eye shouting to her school that something is wrong. Natalie doesn’t want to stand out in that way.

Day one of going back to school Natalie decides to ditch her new set of wheels and stashes it near the school at an old abandoned house. By the end of the week of physically walking everywhere she is shocked that someone stole her brand new wheelchair. Natalie is too zapped to move from the spot where her chair had been. After she is found by her aide and gets a talking to, Natalie caves to using her wheelchair at school.

One day in the bathroom Natalie encounters the one known disabled girl named Riley. She’s in a wheelchair and is very loud in her clothing and makeup choice. Natalie wants to avoid her like the plague. Why be associated with the school outcast?

Eventually Riley gets Natalie to befriend her. Natalie realizes that Riley is human with feelings and is a great friend. They hang out on the weekend and are excited for the upcoming school dance until the principal has other plans.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Sick Girl Secrets by Anna Russell from West 44 Books, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and my choice. This novel written in verse deals with an important topic we don’t really discuss in school or socially as a society. Disability can be obvious, but also, invisible. Not all illnesses can be seen on the outside. Some are internal or mental. School can be a challenging place to try and fit into, let alone having to maneuver a wheelchair, crutches, etc. This story was fast paced, sweet, thought provoking and a satisfying read. Look for this upcoming fall release.

Book Review · Books

The Degenerates

London gets knocked up by a boy she believes loves her. She gets taken away from the lady who is watching over her and taken to the Fernald School where at first she is treated kind, but then put in a cell where she is made to clean up filth by the other inhabitants.

London meets Maxine and Rose. She wonders why they are stuck in this awful place. Rose has her stick she likes to hold, which gives her comfort and is childlike. London heard Rose termed as a Mongoloid. Maxine is Rose’s older sister and very protective of Rose. Then there is Alice who has a club foot. Slowly they form a potential friendship.

Enter the world of the Fernald School where London, Alice, Maxine and Rose are stuck. Maxine keeps hoping her mother will come rescue her and Rose, but she never even comes to visit on family day. Their lives at the school is regimented by breakfast, walks and helping in different areas, like laundry, etc. Those in charge are mean.

I received my complimentary copy of The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This historical novel gives you a glimpse into the world of an institution for the feeble minded, disabled, etc. I wondered if this was a real place and Googled it. Here is a short video about it. Watching videos on this place is beyond disturbing and so sad. This novel brings this place to life. It’s not an easy read, but important to educate.