Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: BRACED, by Alyson Gerber

BRACED, by Alyson Gerber, tells the story of Rachel, a seventh grader who has finally earned a place as a forward on the school soccer team. Just as the school year is about to start, her scoliosis doctor breaks awful news: The curve in Rachel’s spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace twenty-three hours a day. The brace wraps Rachel in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. Worse, it changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a soccer ball, and how everyone sees her.
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.


WendyMcLeodMacKnight said...

I am loving the book so much!

Sharon LJK said...

Wow! Great review- need to put it on my reading list!😀

Shari Green said...

Thanks for your review, Stefanie. Another book for my TBR!! :)