Official Review: Squirrels and Heaven by Randall Rickel

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Krista Ash
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Official Review: Squirrels and Heaven by Randall Rickel

Post by Krista Ash »

[Following is an official review of "Squirrels and Heaven" by Randall Rickel.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Squirrels and Heaven by Randall Rickel is a brief autobiography of Randy’s life starting with him as a teenager. When Randy and his friend Mike have a little fun with squirrels as they work on the farm, a simple mistake has life-changing consequences. Electricity at thousands of volts rushes through the boys leaving them both in the hospital for weeks, but that was only the beginning of the effects. When the doctors decide to amputate Randy’s foot, the whole course of Randy’s life must take a drastic shift.

My favorite part about this book was learning about how prosthetics were made in the 1970s. I enjoyed reading about how Randy needed to prepare his stump for fitting, and Randy gives a reasonably detailed account of his experience without making it too lengthy or boring. I also enjoyed reading about how Randy dealt with the loss of his foot. As Randy writes, “Losing a limb doesn’t mean life is over. It just causes a person to choose a different direction.”

What I liked the least about the book was the final chapter. This chapter briefly described all of the jobs Randy had for the rest of his life. It was somewhat interesting, and it helped make his point that losing a limb doesn’t prevent you from carrying on with life. The chapter, however, read more like a list or summary than like a continuation of the story. I would have preferred a chapter that wrapped up the story of Randy’s early days and experiences with a prosthetic followed by an epilogue or appendix that described the remainder of his life.

Squirrels and Heaven is a short autobiography, making it very easy to read in a few sittings. Also, there were not any instances of profanity. The details of the accident are not graphic and provide a warning on the dangers of electricity. For these reasons, I would recommend this book to younger readers or to older ones with limited time.

The book was an interesting read that covered Randy’s experience with losing his foot. It provided an account of what struggles a person must face when he or she suffers a life-changing event but also how determination and perseverance can enable him or her to overcome the obstacles. There were several typos and errors in the book, but they did not detract from the story. For these reasons, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.

Squirrels and Heaven
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Deval Sodha
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Post by Deval Sodha »

Thank you for the wonderful review!
The book sounds to be very interesting and motivating.
I will definitely read this book.
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Shahina C A
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Post by Shahina C A »

When I read the title I thought that it's a children's book. This seems like very interesting autobiography. Thanks for the review
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Post by Goodness C N »

I actually thought this is a children book because of its name and cover! Your review is great and gives an insight on what to expect. Well done!
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Post by Sararob06 »

After seeing the cover and the title I wanted to find out what this book was about. It sounds like it doesn’t disappoint! Thanks for your detailed review!
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Post by AnnieOgoo »

The cover page and title of this book are cute and attractive. And the author's story is quite touching. I'm also curious to know what prosthetics were like in the 90s.
Lovely review.
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Post by Raluca_Mihaila »

I love squirrels! :) Also love the educational aspects of the books. Great review!
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Post by Jennifer Aldo »

The book title is a catchy one. I hope to enjoy it as much as you did.
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