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Jean Little.
Markham, ON: Penguin Books Canada, 1987.
233pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 0-670-81649-3. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Little, Jean, 1932- -Biography-Youth.
Novelists, Canadian (English)-20th century-Biography.
Visually handicapped-Canada-Biography.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by Jean Farquharson.

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

Jean Little began to realize at a very early age that she was different from other children. When her friends would not allow her to climb a tree because Jean had "bad eyes," Jean consulted her mother. "You do have bad eyes," she said, "but you can go right ahead and climb the tree." And Jean headed for the top of the tree.

She had to overcome feelings of guilt over her inabilities, fear of ridicule by callous schoolmates, and loneliness and terror moving alone in a world she could barely see. "I was afraid my new friends would some day realize that I was the cross-eyed show-off, crybaby, tattletale, Teacher's Pet I had been called all those years."

She found that there were friendly folk who accepted her as she was and appreciated her for her talents of imagination and humour, of writing and story-telling. Her parents, who were both doctors, encouraged and supported her, and with determination and hard work, she was able to graduate from university in spite of the doubt of officials.

Incidents such as going to her first prom, receiving the first acceptance letter for publication of her poetry, and losing her father are poignantly told. Jean Little, a native of Guelph, Ontario, has become a well-known author of children's literature, and she has received several awards for her work.

I would recommend that children and adults read this book to gain an understanding of the handicapped and their need for acceptance and friendship.

Jean Farquharson, Brantford C.l.V.S., Brantford, ON.
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