Megan was one of the best players on her school basketball team until she accepted a ride home on the back of a motorcycle that slid on gravelly surface, overturned, and left her with a spinal cord injury. Now, a few months later, in a wheelchair, with no sensation in her feet or legs, she is packed up with all her equipment to spend the summer with the family on the island where they've always vacationed.

At first she can hardly bear being confined to watching from windows or negotiating makeshift ramps where she once ran so freely in woods and rowed so happily on the lake. When a boy appears from the neighboring cabin and tries to make friends she resists at first, but is finally drawn into a friendship that gives her the courage to "pick up the pieces" of her broken life and try new ways of being active, including, at the end of the summer, a wheelchair race on the mainland.

She also finds herself befriending the boy's grandmother, an aging actress turning alcoholic because she can't come to terms with aging and the loss of romantic leads in film. As Megan learns to come to terms with her own limitations, she is able indirectly to help the older woman come to terms with her own sense of loss.


This is a believable story that gives Megan's point of view sympathetically without making her either pathetic or too good. She is alternately determined, depressed, compliant, rude, withdrawn, and resigned, and, finally, cautiously hopeful. The relationships with her younger brother, her mother, her new friend, Harris, and his grandmother provide various windows on her efforts to cope with a recurring disbelief and sense of loss that surfaces and recedes, but doesn't seem to diminish.

Megan's own interior reflections provide a backdrop to the action; her outward efforts sometimes represent new insight achieved, sometimes a determined effort to overcome feelings of resistance. Very useful story both for disabled adolescents and caregivers.


Charles Scribners Sons

Place Published

New York



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