Why this book?
My then 6-year-old stumbled upon this book at her school’s used book sale, and it quickly became a favorite in our house. Zulay’s beautifully written voice describes what school is like for her and her friends: they wear their uniforms, come by car or bus, seemingly mundane details about some typical children. A careful reader will notice Zulay describes scenes using sounds and smells, not visuals. She describes the sound of shoe shuffling, her teacher who smells like “Juicy Fruit and fresh outside.” There are allusions to the cane that remains folded at the back of her desk, that she clearly doesn’t want to use. Zulay is blind, but I don’t think that word is ever used. This book beautifully demonstrates how to be inclusive, kind, and hard-working without being teachy.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Zulay and her three best friends are all in the same second grade class and study the same things, even though Zulay is blind. When their teacher asks her students what activity they want to do on Field Day, Zulay surprises everyone when she says she wants to run a race. With the help of a special aide and the support of her friends, Zulay does just that.