In Rolling Along: The Story of Taylor and His Wheelchair, by Jamee Riggio Heelan, Taylor is a child born with cerebral Palsy. What? You say you don’t know what that is or what it involves? That’s okay; Taylor tells us all about this diagnosis, and how he copes with it.
Taylor has a twin brother, Tyler, who is his best friend. Tyler doesn’t have cerebral palsy. They do things together like eating ice cream, wrestling, watching ball games and reading their favorite books. Tyler can do all the things little boys do, like running, jumping and skipping, but Taylor’s brain doesn’t work smoothly. Instead, his brain tells his muscles to jump, and that makes it hard for him to walk.
Taylor has braces, a walker and a therapist who stretches his legs. He goes to therapy, and has many friends there. All of his friends at therapy have to use special equipment to get around.
At first, Taylor’s mother had to carry him to and from therapy, and this made him unhappy because he felt so dependent on others. He was waiting to get a wheelchair so he could roll himself around and not get so tired. Then one day he got his surprise. His wheelchair had come in! He could get his own water at school now, open the special door, and a lot of other things. Tyler even taught him to do a special trick with his wheel chair. You’ll have to read the book to see all the things Taylor learned to do and how his life was changed because of his wheelchair.
This book gives a lot of information on Cerebral Palsy and how it affects a child. It makes sense, so it rates a four on originality. The book is definitely targeted to certain populations, such as schools that mainstream handicapped children, rehab children’s groups, and possibly nursing or physical therapy students. The list is not exhaustive, but I think this book is limited in the population of readers because of the subject matter.
The information is good, but the WOW factor is low, maybe a three. The book cover is eye-catching, and illustrations are great rating them a five. The book cover is well done, but I wonder if a child would want to go in and read the book after they see the cover, unless they’re very curious or dealing with a handicap themselves.
Until the next Review!