A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Born Just Right is an autobiography by Jordan Reeves, a limb difference activist and inventor. Her mother, Jen Lee Reeves, also helped with the book, though the voice belongs primarily to Jordan. The book addresses topics of being born with physical differences and challenges, as well as the struggles and prejudices that limb different people have. Jordan has received help and gifts from business entities such as Disney, Autodesk, The Rachel Ray Show and Shark Tank, so those brands are featured in her story.
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What's the story?
In BORN JUST RIGHT, mother-daughter authors Jordan and Jen Lee Reeves enlighten readers about what it's like to be born without a limb. In her case, Jordan was born having a typical right arm and a shorter left arm without a hand or fingers. Jordan's journey has taken her from attending camps for kids with limb differences all the way to national television spots. This book starts with her birth and upbringing in a college town in Missouri, where she was loved by many and ostracized by some. Some workbook-type sections encourage kids to find and follow their passions, whether they have typical bodies or not.
Is it any good?
Kid-oriented and inspirational, this autobiographical story is told by a girl who overcomes her challenges, while encouraging others to become independent and strong. Born Just Right will appeal especially to kids who have been marginalized by their peers. Jordan doesn't shy away from explaining how she uses her "tiny arm" to do things as amazing as kayaking and playing the piano. Her pragmatic tone encourages kids to follow their own passions and overcome obstacles.
Though she lacks the subtlety of an expert storyteller, sometimes repeating facts and feelings, Jordan Reeves knows how to make a point. She sparks empathy in the reader by asking tough questions, such as: Why aren't there more limb-difference dolls and television characters? She takes her questions to companies like Mattel to get answers. Jordan's TEDx talks and appearances on television have made her a bit of a celebrity, but her goal is to use her platform to question the very concept of "normal." Though the entertainment value may suffer because of the direct nature of the narrative, Born Just Right may help readers wake up to their own prejudices and limitations, which is really what it's all about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about people with physical differences as shown in Born Just Right. Can you name any shows or books that feature a character who has a limb difference or a disability? Do you think what you see in the media reflects real life?
Jordan's mom started a website to help spread the word about people who have limb differences. What blogs or websites do you like that help raise awareness about issues you care about?
Jordan has made T-shirts to express how she feels about people treating her differently. One says: "Don't stare, just ask!" If made a T-shirt to express something about yourself, what would it say?
- Authors: Jordan Reeves, Jen Lee Reeves
- Genre: Autobiography
- Topics: Activism, STEM, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Aladdin
- Publication date: July 25, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 14
- Number of pages: 160
- Available on: Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 29, 2019
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