Natalie is a pretty typical teen girl, growing up on a goat farm in rural Maryland. She has friends, a great family, and a pretty big crush on a guy at school. Having been born with an eye disease that is causing Natalie's sight to slowly get worse, she has grown used to adjusting the way she does her school work, farm chores, and pretty much everything else she does on a daily basis, but never truly believes she will lose her vision completely. She plans to do everything "normal" teens do, like drive, date, and go away to college.
After a visit to her eye doctor, Natalie is devastated to learn she will lose her sight in a matter of weeks. Her parents quickly make the decision to send her to school for the visually impaired, where she'll learn how to read Braille, walk with a cane, and other skills to aid her once she is blind. Natalie is scared and not at all convinced she belongs at the school at all, pushing away all attempts at friendship or learning new skills.
I really enjoyed the overall concept of the story and definitely learned a lot about the process of learning how to adapt one's life to not being able to see. Braille seems to be an incredibly difficult manner of reading and I'm now completely impressed with those that read it!
Having lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico for several years, home to the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I was able to connect certain skills the students practiced in the book, to those I remember seeing students from NMSBVI practicing on the streets of town. Pretty neat! Definitely a whole lot of hard work.
I did feel that the story was as deep as it could have been. It was a pretty short book and could have used beefing up. Natalie was having to deal with an incredibly difficult change in her life and it I felt it was "resolved" a bit quicker than necessary. I would have liked to see a bit more meat to the emotional aspects, as well as to the skill learning portions, which were so interesting.
Overall, a good, quick read on a subject I haven't read a whole lot about.