This non-fiction book begins in Rwanda and tells the story of a girl named Rebeka who was born with arthrogryposis which affected her legs and arms. This book is rich with detail of colors, smells, feelings, and experiences. It is full of stories along her journey of learning to walk including traveling to a new country, learning a new language and culture, going through several medical procedures and surgeries, gaining physical strength, and returning to her own country with accompanying transitions.
Written from the perspective of Rebeka, this is a story of identity, change, overcoming obstacles, and taking advantage of opportunities as “chance comes once”. The reader is drawn into Rebeka’s world–whether she is in Rwanda or in Texas. The text is simple to understand and conveys Rebeka’s bravery and strength.
This book is co-written by Rebeka–the Rwandan girl herself –and Meredith – the American host who took care of Rebeka in the United States. This is a book for individuals interested in medical procedures, organizations that help countries such as Rwanda, or those who like stories about overcoming the odds and the underdog.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Violence/Gore: Threat of wild dogs; pain from medical procedures – twisting feet, casting, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.; reference to a dead goat with bones picked clean; verbal name calling and superstitions that disabilities were a curse; in the author’s note reference to genocide where 1 million people were killed in 100 days.
Mature Subject Matter:
Separation from parents; multiple surgeries and associated pain.
Alcohol / Drug Use: