Review Detail

A story behind the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Born in 1947, Heumann had polio at a very young age, leaving her legs and arms very weak. She was used to being in a wheelchair, and went about her daily life as a child with modifications that she just took as normal for her, in the way that some children had curly hair while others had straight. This changed when she wasn't allowed to go to public school because the principal thought she would be a fire hazard. Her parents eventually got her into a class called Health Conservation 21, which included students from different ages with different levels of functioning. This was not ideal, but Heumann eventually got into a general education high school. Before instructional aides, she had to ask people to help her with the most basic functions like moving her wheelchair and getting to the rest room. Undaunted, she did well and got into college, hoping to become a teacher herself. Knowing that this might not be easy, since she could not think of any teachers in wheel chairs, she contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and asked for their advice. She was told to get her degree and contact them if she had trouble finding a job. Unsurprisingly, she did, but the ACLU concluded that being excluded from a license on the basis of a physical exam was not in violation of her rights. This lit a fire in Heumann, and she went on to work with the Center for Independent Living in California and was deeply involved with the protests when Joseph Califano, U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, refused to sign meaningful regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Much of the book is given to the details of the lengthy sit ins and other tactics that were used to finally change the minds of legislators about the rights of the disabled.
Good Points
This book moved so quickly that I didn't start putting bookmarks in it until Ms. Heumann was in college! The story was very compelling, and told in a very relatable voice. Incidents in her life are related in very matter-of-fact ways, and her philosophy that her situation isn't something that needs to be "fixed" is very clear. When it comes to the protest, I wonder if the many students who have 504 plans will be interested in knowing how those came about! An important, compelling story told in a way that middle schoolers will find interesting.

This reminded me very much of Karen, by Marie Killilea, which I loved when I was in middle school. It occurred to me when reading Rolling Warrior that reading Karen definitely formed how I think about people with disabilities. Karen struggled with some areas, but excelled in others, and her disability did not stop her from working towards her goals. Representation matters, and Heumann's is a great story that covers a period of time in my own life about which I was unaware. I knew that equal access legislation was put in place very late (1990), but hadn't realized how discriminatory education practices were until then.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...
Merci Suárez Can't Dance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh grade is going to be a real trial...
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively...
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding...
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End...
Gold Spun
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
If Nor can't spin gold, she can always spin...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic...
Small Favors
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life...
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey through a magical woodland, with poems to read and...
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the endless imagination of Jason Tharp comes a hilarious...
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new picture book from Jennie Palmer starring Milo, a...
Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Slow down to watch 50 nature stories that command calm...
Once Upon A Pizza: Eight Crazy Ways Pizza Wasn't Really Invented, And One It Might Have Been
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everyone loves pizza, but how was it invented? ...
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Help young fans get in touch with their inner geeks...
Awaken    Book 1 The A'vean Chronicles
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
SOME PEOPLE AREN'T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY. With a...
Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Underdogs, unite! Celebrated nonfiction author Melissa Stewart offers young readers...

Latest Member Reviews

Bluebird
 
5.0
"It's 1946 and Eva leaves behind destroyed Berlin for New York City. Eva carries a deadly secret. One that others..."
Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
 
4.3
"INCENDIARY is an intriguing YA fantasy with rebellion, magic, and intrigue. Renata was stolen from her parents as a child..."
Love and Other Sins
 
5.0
"Read it in one sitting and can’t wait to read the next one!!"
 
4.3
"This was definitely an interesting book. I really enjoyed all of the witchy aspects of the book! It starts off..."
Small Favors
 
4.7
"SMALL FAVORS is a compelling, spooky, and atmospheric YA fantasy/horror that keeps the reader guessing. Ellerie is a young woman..."
Sidelined
 
4.7
"Julian is looking forward to his senior year in Meridien, Texas. He wants to play football and hopefully get scouted..."
Spectacle
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Nathalie Baudin is an extraordinary girl even before she discovers her psychometric abilities. She’s just sixteen,..."
Somewhere Only We Know
 
4.0
"Everything I know about K-pop comes from thirsty Twitter fancams, what has made it into the American mainstream, and an..."
A Song Below Water
 
4.3
"WHAT I LOVED: Tavia and Effie’s world is ours with just a little myth-made-real on top. The Hart family..."
Tin Heart
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Marlowe has spent much of her life living on the edge of death thanks to a..."
Off the Record
 
5.0
"Content warnings: rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse Once upon a time, I had an ambition to become a journalist...."
The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)
 
5.0
"What I Loved: THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY, a sequel to THE INHERITANCE GAMES, is a book full of intrigue and mystery..."
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
"THE COST OF KNOWING is a heartbreaking and beautiful read about family, fate, and racism. After losing his parents and..."
Curses
 
3.3
"* I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss+ for an honest review* “When..."
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
"BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL is a heartfelt read about finding yourself and coming out. Dean knows that he is a..."
You Were Made for Me
 
3.3
"YOU WERE MADE FOR ME is a comedic YA contemporary/magical read about two friends, Katie and Libby, who somewhat accidentally..."
What I Like about Me
 
4.7
"WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME is a charming and comical YA contemporary read that tackles some important themes. Maisie is..."
Yolk
 
4.3
"YOLK is an intriguing coming-of-age read that tackles, illness, mental illness, eating disorders, and unhealthy relationships. The story is told..."
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
"'When You Know What I Know' by Sonja K. Solter is a beautiful story of a girl who is soul-searching..."
Better Together
 
4.7
"'Better Together' by Christine Riccio weaves together two well-known and engaging stories—that of 'The Parent Trap' and 'Freaky Friday'. When..."