Parents' Guide to


By Mary Krawczyk, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tween in wheelchair finds her voice in inspiring tale.

Air Book Cover

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Adventurous, brave, and smart Emmie takes center stage in this inspiring novel that focuses on family, friendship, disability rights, and grief. Air is notable for its nuanced, well-rounded depiction of a protagonist with a disability. Readers will cheer on Emmie and enjoy the action, suspense, and laughs as she practices her jumps and wheelies, runs an online business, and pursues her dreams. There's also a fun cast of supporting characters who have some interesting hobbies, including skate-boarding, bee-keeping, and rodeo.

Readers may be frustrated by the school principal and a few other characters, but most adults in the story are supportive and understanding. Grief is handled in an age-appropriate manner as Emmie, her dad, and her grandparents deal with their feelings in various ways. Readers will relate to typical middle school experiences, like working on a group project or wondering about a crush. They'll also learn about empathy by seeing things from Emmie's point of view. Kids who use wheelchairs for mobility will appreciate the positive representation. And those with other disabilities may also relate to some of Emmie's challenges. Helpful information about 504 plans, IEPs, and disability rights is woven throughout and included in an author's note as well.

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