Usually, I don’t like verse at all. I haven’t read a book in verse since my “conversion” into liking poetry this summer. I got Reaching for Sun without knowing it is written in verse, and surprised myself by liking the first poem. I figured that if I liked the first poem, I might like the second. If I liked the second, I might like the third, etc. until I had read the entire book.

Josie suffers from cerebral palsy, and everything not thought about by people without cerebral palsy is painful. She struggles to walk normal, talk normal, just look normal. She loves the escape from school at three each day, where she can run home to her grandmother, and frolic on her family’s dwindling farmland. Sometimes the taunts that Josie is mentally challenged get to her, even though she is really bright and even witty at times.

Life as Josie knew it comes to a complete halt when she meets Jordan, who unlike any other, sees behind her mangled hand and slow speech. Jordan becomes part of Josie’s small family- all while Josie is pretending to be at speech camp. She started skipping on the first day when she saw she was the only eighth grader. She’s going to have to break it to her Mom someday, but just not now. It’s always “Not now…”

I’m really happy this won the Schneider Family book award. The plot is a little slow, especially in the beginning.Β  Other than that, I really felt that Zimmer understood Josie and completly immersed herself into Josie’s character. I couldn’t read any “adult” in the poetry, with the exception of the very last poem. I find that the Schneider Family book award generally picks some of my favorite books. A Mango Shaped Space won, and now I am even more curious to read all the winners.

I’m writing a few shorter reviews this week because school is piling up. Also, Waiting for Normal came out yesterday.