Tag Archive: blindness



Have You Seen Luis Velez?Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give this book ten stars? I loved it so much that from 60% I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, turn off the fan (I was getting cold!). I barely moved! I was so immersed in this book!

As a writer, unpublished, I hear that a book needs lots of tension. I didn’t feel that in this book, at all! All I can see is that I loved the characters, right from the start and adopted them into my heart. Then I didn’t want to leave their world.

I usually don’t read books with the main character male. Especially a teen. Since I entered my sixties I go for strong fems by fem authors. That is because most of my life I was subjected to only males by males and I want to see more people like me in books and movies. All I heard growing up when I asked about that, was that boys needed encouragement to read. Then why I would ask as an adult, did those non-readers, lower grading people get better jobs? Why did the world circulate around the males?

But this book didn’t center on a male of privilege. This seventeen-year-old had none of the usual adolescent angst. When would that girl give it up to me; didn’t seem to be on his radar. Rather he was more anxious about his family where he felt he didn’t belong, or how he didn’t even feel he fit in his skin. He only seemed to have one friend and that one is leaving as we meet this guy. And he is sweet to a little kitten. Heart won over!

Then our protagonist befriends an elderly blind woman. Both characters are so well built that they feel like family members to the reader.

The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is a genius! She keeps the reader engaged. I should mention, she is the author of Pay It Forward. I loved that book, too, and the movie. Well, I love the concept but it was an extreme tear-jerker. This one was more heart-warming (fewer tears more cheering the characters on) with a similar message of how positive life can be by being kind and caring for other people. I may need to actually buy this book and study it!

By the way, I got this book through Kindle Unlimited along with the Whispersynched Audible. The narrators brought the book to life.– I just looked up the book on Audible and it seems there is only one narrator! Michael Crouch. That was a surprise! I don’t normally like male voices doing females. But Mr. Crouch did an amazing job! I actually thought there were about three narrators acting it out! Wow!

Maybe this should be required reading for the world?!!! I highly recommend it! In case you haven’t noticed.

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Stars Come Out WithinStars Come Out Within by Jean Little

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an Inter-Library Loan. That meant I only had two weeks to read it. Yikes! And the font… well, it was darker and good sized, but the lines were too close together. That made it difficult for me to read, but not impossible. Under really good lighting and short sips of the book, I managed to finish. Yay! I thought often, that Jean Little, herself, would have had a hard time reading this. My eyes aren’t nearly as bad as hers were, but I have similar problems. I have two eyes that operate independently from each other. Tracking is a big problem for me. In fact, I mostly read with one eye. The other goes on vacation. Its function is for far away. When I was young I had to hold the books really close. Not so close as to get print ink all over my nose, but near enough. As my eyes age, they let me pull the book away a bit.

With floaters, diabetes, and macular degeneration, I have deep fears of blindness. On the other hand, I have a great fascination with how people deal with it. I have always been amazed at abilities the disabled people portray. I remember reading about Helen Keller when I was in grade school. The week I got to see Miracle Worker on television, I walked around my house pretending to be blind to see if I could do it. After all, my great grandmother was blind. She made pot holders on her sewing machine for everyone in the family. She managed to get around her house just fine. No one lived with her. She had no guide dog, that I know of. And she never complained. Her conversations were like normal, none drew attention to her blindness. She could whip out her harmonica and play us all tunes. She was amazing. I could see and I couldn’t sew or play the harmonica.

Anyway, back to the book. This is the second part of Ms. Little’s autobiography. Her eyes were getting worse. That’s bad for a writer. Especially for back then. Her way of writing a book was with a typewriter. How, if you can’t see, do you go through the editing process? Granted she had a good support group with family and friends. People would read to her. She was already established with an editor and publisher, but she was also a bit of a perfectionist, as we should be at that stage.

As Jean Little goes through all these setbacks you see her honest reactions. No, she isn’t always graceful in her acceptance of her disability or the ways around it. I loved the fact that she was able to show her grumpier side, or the parts when she did feel sorry for herself. She let us see her faults, her humanness. That was what kept me reading, I think. That and the dog. Oh, I wanted to hug that dog!

Within these pages, Jean sprinkled in poetry. Hers and others. She gives us clues into her reading life, her favorite authors and books. For those who love childrens’ books, it is fun to see titles or authors of much adored reads of the past.

Now that I have finished reading the book, I want to see a part three. I want to go read her childrens’ books and those she admired that I didn’t read as a kid or mother. I understand she has a website. I am off to go research. I hope you enjoy this autobiography as much as I did.

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