Official Review: Give Me A Chance by Beth Seiler

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AvidBibliophile
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Official Review: Give Me A Chance by Beth Seiler

Post by AvidBibliophile »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Give Me A Chance" by Beth Seiler.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Snowflakes and station wagons, freckled faces, lemonade, slumber parties, horseback rides, and friends that are just “swell.” These are but a few of the nostalgic details you’ll find dancing across these pages. Do you have the gumption to do what it takes, to face adversity head-on in the quest to overcome?

Give Me A Chance is a unique children’s book by Beth Seiler that highlights the extraordinary strengths of kids with disabilities. Through 8 authentically told short stories, she provides scenarios that encourage readers to learn how these challenged children hope to be treated and accepted, addressed and encouraged. As a teacher with commendable experience in the Special Education setting, she is uniquely suited to reflect on her own observations throughout her years as an educator. As a young girl who came into the world with visual impairment (due to retinopathy of prematurity), she faced a childhood full of discrimination and restrictive limitations. As a woman (and mother) now totally blind, her years of diminishing sight have allowed her to write an authentically meaningful and deeply genuine book about the topics of struggle. Intended to provide the public with a greater understanding of those who are physically limited, cognitively impaired, developmentally delayed, or forever changed by tragic accidents, Seiler becomes a visionary inspiration to us all.

As the stories progress, you’ll find that some of the young characters are simply slow at math, others are blind, hard of hearing, confined to a wheelchair, or congenitally missing a hand. One is even a lonely old man who’s battled depression since his wife passed, and another is a little girl that has cerebral palsy. Most exhibit feelings of nervous trepidation at attending a new school, especially since kids at their previous schools had called them names like: “stupid” and “retarded.” But sometimes kids are deaf (not dumb) and jumping to conclusions simply leads to misinformed first impressions of these otherwise gifted souls.

Many important issues are brought to light, especially through examples that show how some well-meaning teachers can often cause more harm than good by setting lower expectations for their “special” students. Such behavior sets a precedent, quickly perceived by fellow students, that becomes hard to disprove or successfully overcome. These heartwarming and compassionate tales are full of frustrations, joys, limitations, and accomplishments, coupled with determination, perseverance, and a twinkling hope to blend in. Seiler also teaches readers the difference between compassionate acceptance and pity, and why one is more preferable to receive.

Themes of childhood depression, isolation, bullying, name-calling, loneliness, teasing, shame, and crippling self-doubt are present, and there is even an implied mention of necessary gun safety, when a little girl suffers a spinal cord injury from the accidental discharge of an unsecured firearm. But new friends, the healing powers of animal therapy, and the simple joys of outdoor exploration offer a nice balance to the heavier content. There are some grammatical and typographical errors that need to be corrected and addressed, but an additional round of thorough editing could easily provide the final bit of polish. While written at a third or fourth grade reading level, most of the characters are 8 to 11 years old, and I feel this book would be appropriate for grade school students and beyond. Within this 47-page collection, there are included mentions of Braille and large print textbooks, but all of the stories contain lessons that are broadly applicable to a wide range of readers.
**The noted errors by this reviewer have all been corrected within the book**

I award the current version of this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. One star had to be deducted for the errors I encountered, but I would otherwise gladly award this title a full rating and glowing recommendation. These stories serve as a reminder to us all not to take anything for granted. If you have been gifted the ability to see, hear, run, and think, be eternally grateful for the capabilities you possess. Not all disabilities are readily apparent and “special accommodations” need not be made unless specifically requested.

******
Give Me A Chance
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Post by Ever_Reading »

AvidBibliophile wrote:
25 Apr 2020, 17:36
Many important issues are brought to light, especially through examples that show how some well-meaning teachers can often cause more harm than good by setting lower expectations for their “special” students.
This went straight to my heart! It's such a painful truth. I can't applaud the author enough for having the courage to write this book, especially since she has a disability herself. I hope she gets an editor on board, in order to turn this into the masterpiece it should be. Great review!
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Ever_Reading wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 01:22
AvidBibliophile wrote:
25 Apr 2020, 17:36
Many important issues are brought to light, especially through examples that show how some well-meaning teachers can often cause more harm than good by setting lower expectations for their “special” students.
This went straight to my heart! It's such a painful truth. I can't applaud the author enough for having the courage to write this book, especially since she has a disability herself. I hope she gets an editor on board, in order to turn this into the masterpiece it should be. Great review!
As I was reading along, it was clearly evident that these stories were rooted strongly in truths and firsthand experiences. The last story seemed to closely mirror what the author probably went through as a little girl, feeling partially blind among her clueless classmates, not always being able to see the chalkboard. Her courage and strength is beyond admirable, and I hope many readers will be able to learn endless lessons from this book. Thank you for your kind words of support!

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Post by Letora »

There is certainly a lot that can be learned from this book. Thank you for your detailed review!
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Post by Kachi_Ejiogu+_ »

How I love this review! The authors ability to unearth the difference between compassionate acceptance and pity, and why one is more preferable to receive, is something worth looking out for. Great review. So apt!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Letora wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 05:48
There is certainly a lot that can be learned from this book. Thank you for your detailed review!
Most definitely, it is full of lessons and examples that readers of all ages could apply to similar scenarios they may find themselves in! Thank you :)

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Kachi_Ejiogu+_ wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 07:43
How I love this review! The authors ability to unearth the difference between compassionate acceptance and pity, and why one is more preferable to receive, is something worth looking out for. Great review. So apt!
Greatly appreciate your kind words! The author did an incredible job highlighting feelings, wishes, hopes, and dreams AND sharing them in ways that were easy for readers to comprehend. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by Sushan »

Sounds like an interesting children's book. Thanks for the nice and thorough review 👍👍
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Post by Splendour0606 »

I really admire the author's ability to write a book despite her disability,it is courageous and encouraging.Thank you for your review.

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Post by RetiredOBNurse »

I don’t see my review I did earlier so I will repost...This book sounds perfect for everyone to read as we all cross paths with people that have some level of disability, some minor that are not always seen with our eyes. My eyes welled up with tears as I read your review just thinking about the perception and treatment many of these people must endure. We need to step back and realize that respect and compassion is deserved for those not as fortunate and “Give Them A Chance”. Wonderful stories this author has written, outstanding review as always!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Sushan wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 09:36
Sounds like an interesting children's book. Thanks for the nice and thorough review 👍👍
It was a good one, incredibly unique! Thanks for your feedback and comment.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Splendour0606 wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 10:21
I really admire the author's ability to write a book despite her disability,it is courageous and encouraging.Thank you for your review.
I admire that same courageous spirit! Those with disabilities are often gifted in more ways than we realize. This book will help many see things differently! Thank you for stopping by.

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Post by Kirsi_78 »

I have often wondered what would be the best way to talk about people with disabilities to my kids. We run into these special people every now and then, and kids naturally wonder, ask questions and point with their fingers. After reading your review I am thinking Give Me A Chance might be something to read together with my kids. Thanks for a nice review!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

RetiredOBNurse wrote:
26 Apr 2020, 10:59
This book sounds perfect for everyone to read as we all cross paths with people that have some level of disability, some minor that are not always seen with our eyes. My eyes welled up with tears as I read your review just thinking about the perception and treatment many of these people must endure. We need to step back and realize that respect and compassion is deserved for those not as fortunate and “Give Them A Chance”. Wonderful stories this author has written, outstanding review as always!
Sadly it seems, many of these afflicted souls are forced to face childhoods of teasing, discrimination, and loneliness. But there’s just no reason for it since many of them have the brightest smiles and largest spirits, and approach each day with optimism and hope! This author has done a wonderful job of shining a spotlight on the issue by providing real-world examples that are both entertaining and bittersweet. I hope that many future readers will benefit from this book as I have. Thank you!

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Post by DEEPA PUJARI »

From the review it sounds like a great book that can be read by children and adults. It will help us be emphatic and grateful.

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