Where You See Yourself

Scholastic. May 2023. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338813838.
Gr 9 Up–High school senior Effie wishes the college application process could be as easy for her as it is for her friends and classmates without visible disabilities. Greek American Effie is cued white, has cerebral palsy, and is the only person at her school who uses a wheelchair. When apathetic school administrators create an arbitrary policy that keeps her from being physically able to join her friends for off-campus lunch, Effie realizes she must start advocating for herself if she’s going to be ready for college in the fall. Effie and her friends stage a sit-in to protest the policy, which solidifies Effie’s goals of pursuing journalism and advocacy. College applications loom, and while Effie’s friends get to make life decisions based on academics, location, and feel, Effie and her mom have crafted a detailed spreadsheet of variables based on the accessibility of each school (or in many cases, lack thereof). A family visit to Effie’s dream school in New York City provides some glaring examples of the challenges that await Effie once she leaves home: elevator outages in subway stations, a gravel path that runs through the heart of campus, and the school’s lack of disability representation among the student body. Effie’s dry humor, determination, and strong sense of self drive the plot forward.
VERDICT A refreshing upstander story that buoys realistic disability advocacy with humor, grit, and a witty protagonist worth rooting for.

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