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Dancing Daisies (Just Be Book 1) Kindle Edition
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That was really why I wanted to go to camp this year instead of sitting at home all summer with my parents. I desperately needed some new friends…
Brynn Evason is, in many ways, just like an ordinary seventeen-year-old girl—she cares too much about what other people think of her, she’s embroiled in major friendship drama, and she can’t wait to head off to summer camp.
But in Sara Pyszka’s heartwarming coming-of-age drama, Dancing Daisies, readers learn that Brynn is different in one very important way. Brynn has cerebral palsy, which means she must use a power wheelchair and computer to communicate.
After her relationship with her two best friends is shattered, Brynn is looking forward more than ever to her summer at Camp Lakewood. She soon learns, however, that getting away from home doesn’t spare her from all of life’s dramas.
While some campers meet her with dismay, Brynn eventually meets friends who can see past her disabilities. One of those friends is Tommy, a boy for whom Brynn immediately falls head over heels.
But as Tommy and Brynn’s friendship deepens, a misunderstanding puts the new couple in jeopardy. Can Brynn find a way to clear Tommy’s name?
About the Author
Sara Pyszka is an author and public speaker who has dedicated her life to raising awareness of cerebral palsy. Born without the ability to walk, talk, or use her hands, she wishes to share her experiences and raise awareness through her writing.
Pyszka graduated from Wright State University with a degree in rehabilitation services. She has attended Notes from the Heart music camp in Pennsylvania and written original songs with Lucas Richman, the head conductor for the Knoxville Symphony. Pyszka also became the first person to sing using an augmentative communication device at two Major League Baseball games.
Having written since she was a teenager, Pyszka recently published her first novel, Dancing Daisies.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00HDOT35E
- Language : English
- File size : 2403 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 351 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,475,651 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #21,075 in Coming of Age Fiction (Books)
- #177,922 in Genre Fiction (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from other countries
I am not sure who my favorite character was. So many of the characters were so easy to connect to.
I loved this book. I have recommended to to others and bought the authors second book. I cannot wait to follow Brynn's story!
I think of it as a unique type of the 'coming of age' novel, where the main character grows in their understanding of the world around them and their place in it due to some unexpected event. It is unique because not only does Brynn grow herself, but most that interact with her also have these same experiences. Much like reality, there are others in the story that do NOT grow, and they only have themselves to blame. In telling the story, Sara manages to cover several topics of interest to the YA crowd: Interacting with people who are not quite themselves and alcohol abuse by teenagers. These are heavy topics, but are not presented to the reader like being hit with a sledgehammer - they are presented in very realistic situations that are well integrated into the plot and are not the least bit preachy. I think this should be required reading material for a Jr. High student.
The novel is well edited and formatted.
Why 4 Stars: The beginning of the book, pre-camp, seems a bit slow. We are presented with a first-person perspective of a character we don't know, interacting with people we don't know. We get more information about those people than Brynn herself. Sure, many of Brynn's personality traits come through, but we really don't REALLY get to know Brynn until she arrives in camp. I'd like to have seen the novel start with Brynn and her parents preparing for camp, and present the rest of the pre-story as flashbacks once we got to know Brynn a bit more (after the introduction of DAISY). If you think it is slow at the beginning, keep going, as it gets amazing after Brynn's arrival at camp.
SPOILER ALERT!!! Please do not read these until you have read the novel. I tried not to spoil all that much, but in talking about characters and their growth, reading my opinions may decrease your enjoyment of the novel as it progresses. Feel free to challenge me in the comments.
The head of the camp, JT, is quite an interesting character. First year on the job. Speech on the first day about the seriousness of the camp rules. Introduction of the DAISY (Discovering and Accepting Individuality in Society and Yourself) program. Yet, JT has absolutely no true understanding of this concept (or the rules), and absolutely none of his own 'coming of age' experience. I'm disappointed to see him just hanging out there unenlightened. Perhaps we'll see more of him, with some growth, in the future.
Brynn's cabin-mates and Christine. These characters pretty much behaved exactly as expected in the presence of someone like Brynn.
I can write a ton about Jonah. Everyone knows someone or two just like him. No growth, no desire for growth, no personal sense of responsibility to himself or others. He got off easy, but people like him tend to.
I'm not sure Tommy really grew all that much during the book, and he didn't need to. Tommy became who he is because of events that happened between camp last year and this year. He tried his best to make others grow a bit, but like reality, mere words do not cause personal growth - it is much more complex than that. Sure, he did grow a little, but it was not a coming of age moment for him.
Tommy's cabin-mates. These were the best. Why? Because they had a very realistic response. These folks chose not to interact with Brynn, even when their initial misconceptions were probably already dispelled by Tommy. They had a partial enlightenment, but while they are 'improved' at the end of the novel, it was only superficial, and thus flawed. The conversation about them between Brynn and Christine at the end was excellent. Far too many people today make just a very superficial change about their viewpoint but lack the ambition to take it to the next level of understanding - just like these kids do.