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The novel Cassie Peters Standing Tall is an excellent novel for all ages, specifically middle school aged children. The book follows a young girl, Cassie, who lives with Cerebral Palsy. While this makes her life a bit more difficult, it doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves. The book starts out with Cassie moving to a new school, and being placed in a special ed class.

Through Cassie’s eyes, readers can understand that all of the students in this class are no different than the rest of the student body. Cassie starts to break down the biases that many people hold about students in special ed classes. Cassie teaches readers that while it may feel awkward at first to interact with students with physical or mental disabilities, the outcome is worth it. Students in these classes have the same interests and enjoy many of the same pastimes as anyone else—a lesson that many schools should consider teaching their student body. 

Another theme in this book is perseverance. Cassie faces many challenges throughout the book, such as learning to use a walker, learning to skate, and trying to become friends with a girl who was bullying Cassie and her classmates in the beginning. Young readers can learn that if they put their mind to something, they can achieve their goals. Cassie teaches readers that it is possible to do something that many people may think they cannot accomplish. 

Many students are aware of the special ed students in their school, but are hesitant to approach them. This book breaks down the biases that may be present, and shows readers that students in special education classes are not as different from them as they may have thought. It shows readers that if they put in the effort to see past traditional stereotypes of body image, they can see how much they have in common with one another. 

I would recommend this book to all ages, but especially school age children. It teaches them the importance of acceptance, and loving a person as they are. 

Reviewer Bio: Kyla Hewis

Kyla has completed her second year at Redeemer University studying Social Work. She plans to pursue her masters of social work and then work in the area of child welfare. Kyla was diagnosed with a learning disability in grade 5 and spent six weeks in a classroom similar to the one that was described in the novel to learn different learning strategies. 

Author Bio: Jennifer Wonder

Jennifer has been a Physiotherapist for the past 30 years, caring for school aged children, their families and caregivers for half of her career. She has always had a heart for the less privileged and has served in multiple countries around the world. Despite life’s challenges, she endeavors to practice trust, love and thankfulness, living life with family and family, desiring to be a life-long learner, being creative and maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Presently, she calls Niagara ON Canada her home.

To purchase this book: Amazon Link

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