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Publisher's Summary

This is Nadina LaSpina's story - from her early years in her native Sicily, where she contracts polio as a baby, a fact that makes her the object of well-meaning pity and the target of messages of hopelessness, to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her, and to her rebellion and her activism in the disability-rights movement. 

LaSpina's personal growth parallels the movement's political development - from coming together, organizing, and fighting against exclusion from public and social life to the forging of a common identity, the blossoming of disability arts and culture, and the embracing of disability pride. 

While unique, LaSpina's journey is also one with which many disabled people can identify. It is the journey to find one's place in an ableist world - a world not made for disabled people, where disability is only seen in negative terms. LaSpina refutes all stereotypical narratives of disability. Through the telling of her life's story, without editorializing, she shows the harm that the overwhelming focus on pity and on a cure that remains elusive has done to disabled people. Her story exposes the disability prejudice ingrained in our sociopolitical system and denounces the oppressive standards of normalcy in a society that devalues those who are different and denies them basic rights.

©2019 Nadina LaSpina (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Such a Pretty Girl

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A well-written and narrated eye opener

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It was an education, but it was sad, hopeful, angering, funny, heartwarming, inspiring, and honest. Nadina LaSpina doesn't sugar coat things or beg for pity. She asks for respect, access, and equality.

Nadina LaSpina is an educator and activist. She had polio as a child in Sicily which left her disabled. her parents brought her to America hoping for a cure. Despite much medical care a cure was not to be. This book chronicles her journey as well as some disability history.

This book had me in in the first few minutes and kept my interest until the end. I would love for her to write a shorter middle grade version because I think she has a lot to teach to children as well. I would want the audiobook to be narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya as well. I enjoyed the narration so much that once in a while I forgot it was someone else.

If I could give this 6 stars I would.