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My Thirteenth Winter
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this memoir chronicles the author's challenges with dyscalculia, a learning disability that affects her ability to accomplish tasks related to sequential processing. This is a very personal and sometimes sad read, as the author expresses her many frustrations. But the book has little questionable content, and would be a powerful means of support for others, including parents and teachers, experiencing or wanting to learn more about learning disabilities.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
This memoir chronicles the author's challenges with dyscalculia, a learning disability that affects the ability to accomplish tasks related to sequential processing, making things like telling time, giving change, and opening a locker very difficult. Starting with her earliest memories of learning difficulties, the book continues to show the challenges on the road to her diagnosis at 13, her depression and panic attacks as she grew older, and her slow path to acceptance in college.
Is it any good?
This is a great resource of information and support for kids having experiences similar to Samantha's and ideal for readers who like books about teens overcoming challenges. Most kids take the simple things they do during the day for granted, like giving a cashier the right amount of money to buy lunch, knowing you can chat for five minutes before the next class, or opening a locker easily. These are things that terrified Samantha Abeel. It's hard enough just wanting to fit in, but add to that a profound learning disability and any kid would want to be invisible.
MY THIRTEENTH WINTER gives a detailed account of Samantha's experiences during the school years, leading up to her diagnosis through college. Life is an intense struggle for Samantha, as she honestly describes. The book ends on a realistically optimistic note regarding her future and happiness.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about different types of learning disabilities and resources that may help. Can you imagine not knowing how to schedule according to time? Why did a comment from a teacher, that she didn't look like someone with learning disabilities, bother the author so much? There can also be discussion of the means of support that helped the author: parents, teachers, counselors, therapists, and anti-depressants.