I was very disappointed in how this book portrayed blind people and the family and friends and even strangers around them.
Its very disturbing to read and not accurate in how it portrays blindness or their abilities and struggles.
The family and friends treat Maddy like loosing her sight is the end of her life and she should just quit and not continue school or consider a job or career she would love.
It is difficult to deal with loss of sight but not impossible.
In the scene at Christmas time where Maddy opens her stocking and receives a Braille book it is extremely unrealistic.
A Braille book would be a few volumes and not the size of a small paperback.
It would be larger and could not fit in a Christmas stocking.
Blindness is not the end of the world and not the worst thing that can happen to a person.
During the time period this book is set there were many resources to teach independence, life skills such as cooking and cleaning, and many assistive devices to help with task at home or at work.
Many blind people attend college, universities, schools, and have jobs in fields they love.
Now there are even more options for independence and living and learning.
Bookshare.org provides many blind students and adults with books in many varied categories.
There are books on tape and digital books from National Library Service (NLS)
Recording for the blind
And many adaptive computer programs and equipment like Kurzweil which is OCR recognition software that works with a scanner to make printed text accessible and then the program reads in a synthetic speech voice.
There are screen readers for computers like jaws from freedom Scientific and Window Eyes from G. W. Micro, and now a new company provides a screen reader on the go through the internet or other solutions.its Serotek
Guide Dogs and The Seeing Eye train dogs to assist a blind person with mobility.
Now there are even guide horses.
There are GPS devices now for mobility as well and Orientation and mobility instructers were available then and now to teach how to navigate and travel safely.
There are rehab centers for the blind to learn how to cook, clean, read Braille, learn adaptive computer equipment and technology, sew, and many other things from wood working to independent travel.
Blind people do not count steps and do not fall all over furniture when learning mobility.
The way the family around Maddy in this book treated her was cruel.
Her mother was hard and uneducated as to how to deal with vision loss.
Yes, people can be insensitive but they can also be understanding and committed and realize the abilities and value of people that have lost physical sight.
This book showed predjudices that blind individuals work hard to overcome and this book sadly promotes those inaccurate views instead of making them better.
I know from experience that blindness is not the end of the world.
I am blind and have a wonderful mother who encouraged me to learn new things and try new things.
She was helpful and supportive and still is.
She encouraged independence and taught me growing up that I was a valuable human being and individual and capable of working to fulfill my dreams and goals.
Yes, I have encountered people with the predjudices that most people in this book showed but I hope to educate them that they are wrong.
I am disappointed that this book portrays blindness in such a light that it predjudices people who read this to think blind people do not live full lives and have wonderful jobs.
Its books and thinking like this that limit blindness and people who deal with blindness.