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Accidents of Nature | [Harriet McBryde Johnson]

Accidents of Nature

It's the summer of 1970. Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy, but she's always believed she's just the same as everyone else. She's never really known another disabled person before she arrives at Camp Courage. As Jean joins a community unlike any she has ever imagined, she comes to question her old beliefs and look at the world in a new light. The camp session is only 10 days long, but that may be all it takes to change a life forever.
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Publisher's Summary

"I'm in the middle of a full-blown spaz-attack, and I don't care. I don't care at all. At home I always try to act normal, and spaz-attacks definitely aren't normal. Here, people understand. They know a spaz-attack signals that I'm excited. They're excited too, so they squeal with me; some even spaz on purpose, if you can call that spazzing."

An unforgettable coming-of-age novel about what it's like to live with a physical disability.

It's the summer of 1970. Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy, but she's always believed she's just the same as everyone else. She's never really known another disabled person before she arrives at Camp Courage. As Jean joins a community unlike any she has ever imagined, she comes to question her old beliefs and look at the world in a new light. The camp session is only 10 days long, but that may be all it takes to change a life forever.

Henry Holt published Harriet McBryde Johnson's adult memoir, Too Late to Die Young, in April 2005. Ms. Johnson has been featured in The New York Times Magazine and has been an activist for disability rights for many years.

©2006 Harriet McBryde Johnson; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"[Johnson] possesses a rare gift for writing in the present tense: readers will feel as if they are experiencing Jean's many small discoveries right along with her." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Michelle Mount Horeb, WI, USA 08-30-06
    Michelle Mount Horeb, WI, USA 08-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Loved this Book!"

    I found this book because I really enjoyed the narrator from the Secret Life of Bees. I did a search and found that she also did this book so I took a chance without knowing much about the this particular title.
    I loved this book! It is a wonderful portrayal of a teenage girl with cerebral palsy who learns more than she bargained for at a sleep-away camp her parents want her to attend.
    I have a son with autism and a Deaf cousin who are both highly-opinionated and intellegent about their "disabilities." They both remind me of the character Sarah who tells us "norms" that the voice of a disabled person can not only be blunt but downright inconvenient!
    If you feel sorry for disabled people or pity them, this book is not for you. The author (a disabled woman herself) does not candy-coat the content with politically correct terms. It is an insider's view into a culture that deserves its own voice.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bgr 04-17-10
    bgr 04-17-10
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    "above expectation"

    Profound depth emerges with the exploration of vivid characters and hilarity of dialogues.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PLCC 08-29-13
    PLCC 08-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazinly Insightful"
    What did you love best about Accidents of Nature?

    This title gave me an insight into what many disabled people must experience in a world that views them as "crips".


    What about Jenna Lamia’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed the fact that it was written in first person.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I have a toddler niece who has cerebral palsy and we often try to perceive what her world is and will be like. This book gave me an insight that I have shared with family members since listening. While there were parts that struck a personal defensive chord, it was painfully honest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    menary kitchen 06-11-10 Member Since 2009
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    "well read"

    it was kind of dry buy well read and defenitely a different point of view that makes it worth reading

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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