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SWAY BY JENNIFER GIBSON: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, March 18, 2013

Sway 
By Jennifer Gibson
ISBN# 9781937329594
Author’s Website:  http://www.jennifergibson.ca/jennifers-books.php

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn

Synopsis:

There was something different about Jessie. She struggled to fit in at school, surrounded by a web of lies and deceit…until she met Ethan.

Based on a true story, the novel Sway is about a hearing impaired teenager named Jessie who tries her best to blend in at school. Every day proves to be a test of her resolve when she is constantly plagued by the ruthless pranks of her classmates who are determined to make her life miserable. When a handsome stranger arrives in the nick of time, Jessie wonders if he is too good to be true. Is Ethan’s attention genuine, or will he betray her trust, too?

Review:

Sway is a beautifully written short story that has a moral lesson. Jennifer Gibson shares the daily struggles of a young girl who is hearing impaired.

Jessie is a wonderful young woman struggling daily to live a normal life. She is picked on by other students at school, in very humiliating ways. The bullying and cruelty almost made me cry. But she never gives up or loses hope. Jessie doesn’t whine or complain, she just copes. I don’t know how she managed to survive all this, but she did. When she’s feeling down, Parker helps her out. It’s very cute, but I won’t say who he or she is.

In gym class, Jessie is given a martial arts lesson. She excels at it and is invited to take classes at a local facility. She really blossoms. I think the ability to defend herself gave Jessie a great deal of confidence, it empowered her. Ethan’s father owns the martial arts studio; he personally works with Jessie.

I never considered what it would be like to be hearing impaired. I freak out if my glasses break and I can’t see facial expressions. It must isolate you to a degree that makes you feel lonely a lot.

I work for a disabled woman. We are far quick to judge and/or overlook the disability. It’s important for us to adapt to them and to show deference. HELP THEM IF YOU CAN – WHETHER IT’S TO OPEN A DOOR OR HELP THEM UNDERSTAND A SIGN!!! Be more aware of people with disabilities because their lives are not easy and by a simple gesture, we can make their day better.

I recommend the book to all. Teachers should use Sway to help students understand disabilities and bullying. Parents should read it with their children to help them understand as well. I see this book as a great teaching tool.

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