The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays
Our last book of Diversity is A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel. It’s the companion book to A Blind Guide to Stinkville, yesterday’s book.
Richie “Ryder” Raymond has a gift. He can find the punchline in any situation, even in his limited vision and prosthetic eye. During the past year at Addison School for the Blind, Ryder’s quick wit earned the respect and friendship of his classmates. Heading to mainstream, or “normal,” school for eighth grade is going to be awesome.
After all, what’s not to like? At Addison, Ryder was everyone’s favorite person. He could make anyone laugh, especially his best friend Alice. So long as he can be first to make all of the one-eyed jokes, Ryder is sure he’ll fit in just as quick at Papuaville Middle School, home of the Fighting Guinea Pigs. But Alice warns him fitting in might not be as easy as he thinks.
Turns out, Alice was right. In just the first hour of “normal” school, Ryder is attacked by General MacCathur II (aka, Gramps’s cat), causes his bio teacher to pass out cold, makes an enemy out town hero Max, and falls for Jocelyn, the fierce girl next door who happens to be Max’s girlfriend. On top of that, Ryder struggles to hold onto his dignity in the face of students’ pity and Gramps’s non-stop practical jokes.
Ryder quickly sees the only thing worse than explaining a joke is being the punchline. But with help from his stuck-in-the-70s Gramps and encouragement from Alice, Ryder finds the strength to not only fight back, but to make peace.
If you’re like me, you love companion books so you can follow how your old friends are doing and make new friends too.
Here’s hoping I gave you some ideas about diverse books to pick up for next year. And speaking of next year, be on the lookout in a few days for the announcement for the 2017 Diversity Reading Challenge!
Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a good Kwanzaa.