Saturday, March 8, 2014

Erica's Tripod by Cynthia Fabian

Erica's Tripod: A Book about a Girl with Muscular DystrophyI really did not like this. The idea is a good one, to teach a handicapped child to be ok with needing help. But the child Erica came across as rather ugly. She is rude to her mother, says "I hate you" multiple times to the dog, shouts at him, and even says his name is "stupid". (Here in North Carolina, elementary school children are taught never to use the word stupid, its considered almost a swear.)

I can understand a child feeling "out of place" when they are dealing with a disability. But there's no call for being rude and I think unwittingly the book sends the wrong message. Children who have no health challenges might read this book and assume that all children in wheelchairs are like Erica: angry, rude and bad tempered.They might think, "I'd better not approach him/her". We wouldn't want that to happen. There are so many beautiful people with issues of one sort or another, why isolate them further?

The idea of this book is a good one but it fell short. I do think it could be reworked though and something good could be made of it.

As it is, for the reasons I mentioned,I will not give this to my nephews (or any other child) to read.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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