Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan
This book is the diary of a young girl who is out sledding one day when a neighborhood bully frightens her. Before she can react her sled crashes into a tree and, as a result, she is totally blinded, apparently for life.
She later is sent to attend a school for the blind and there has to learn how to deal with her blindness. The school stresses that the girl's need to be independent, not cared for constantly or locked up somewhere and forgotten and that is exactly what Bess learns to do. With difficulty she learns the Braille system of reading for the blind, learns her way around the place, makes friends and meets each challenge as it arises.
All of this is going on during the time of the Great Depression, and there are references made throughout the book about people losing their jobs and even their homes.
As with all the other books in this series there is a historical section which is really good. The strength of the book lies in how Bess comes to terms with what has happened to her and how she learns to still have a full, fulfilling life even though she is blind. It's a story of tragedy and hope and eventual victory for the human spirit.
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