*Reaching For The Sun is a 2007 Cybils Middle Grade Fiction nominee*
REACHING FOR SUN is a verse novel about a girl with cerebral palsy. Josie Wyatt is different in more ways than one from the kids at school. Immediately visible is her disability, but her life is also different. She lives in an old farmhouse with her mother and grandmother, while the popular kids live in the rich neighborhood behind her house. Josie doesn’t have any friends; some of the other kids are mean, some ignore her. She has her grandmother, and the people at the nursing home they visit. Her mother works long hours and goes to school when she’s not at work. Josie’s life is not easy.
Then Jordan comes to town. He’s about Josie’s age, but, unlike the other kids, he doesn’t seem to notice or care that there’s anything different about her. He lives in the rich neighborhood, but his home life isn’t as warm and happy as Josie’s with her grandmother, so he spends a lot of time at her house. He becomes a friend, something Josie isn’t used to having. And maybe more?
REACHING FOR SUN is a beautiful, honest, heartbreaking and heartwarming story. I believe this is Zimmer’s first novel, and it is quite impressive. I can’t wait to see what she’ll write next. Full of wonderful characters and lovely poetry, I couldn’t put this book down.