I highly recommend this book, as it not only promotes an awareness of scoliosis, but also raises empathy and a heightened understanding of others. The author, who wore a back brace from ages 11 to 13, delves deep into the emotional truths of middle childhood. At a time in life when fitting in and conforming is ultra-important, Rachel’s brace makes her feel insecure, lonely, and unsure of who her real friends are. When it’s time for the seventh grade formal, Rachel isn’t sure she wants to attend. How is she supposed to dance while wearing thick plastic that feels like a turtle shell?I love how Rachel grows and changes from a scared, insecure teen to a girl who discovers her inner strength. There are no easy answers for Rachel, and no miracle cures. But that’s what I love about BRACED. It feels real.
My rating: Five Stars. A fast-paced, emotional read with well-rounded, believable characters.