Author: Roe, Monica
Twelve-and-a-half year old Emelyn Ethrige lives with her widowed father in South Carolina, dreams of wheelchair motocross, and makes custom chair bags trying to earn enough money to buy a serious set of wheels; she has been in a wheelchair all her life, and is just fine getting around without help, but it seems that since her mother was killed in an accident everyone has started treating her differently.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 517642
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/22)
School Library Journal (00/04/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 Gr 4–7—Seventh grader Emmie has a need for speed, and wishes for a more accessible way for her to fly through the air like her favorite wheelchair motocross heroes. Her father has been struggling to make ends meet ever since her mother passed away, so Emmie raises her own funds for an enhanced wheelchair through crafting embroidered bags. When a mishap with her wheelchair occurs, she's left with some scrapes, a new aide, and a fundraiser for a new wheelchair. Her goal is well within sight, but something just feels off to her, and Emmie has to find her voice among the well-meaning noise. This novel displays warmth and heart in addressing issues such as grief, friendship, poverty, advocating for yourself, and lack of accessibility. Emmie is a strong character who clearly voices her needs as a wheelchair user alongside her desire to not be defined by or discriminated against for her disability. The story also takes an interesting educational turn in defining 504s and IEPs, as well as the history of disability rights. The larger conversation about accessibility adds a valuable lesson to an engaging story with quick chapters. Roe comes from the background as a pediatric physical therapist and studies public health at the University of Alaska, focusing on disability-inclusive disaster preparedness. VERDICT A fast-paced realistic fiction title featuring a disabled protagonist; a worthy purchase for collections.—Molly Dettmann - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2022 Twelve-year-old Emmie loves the fast and exhilarating world of WCMX (wheelchair motocross) and spends most of her free time popping wheelies and speeding down the hallways of her middle school. After an accident at school involving a poorly designed ramp, the school administration decides, much to Emmie's dismay, that she needs an educational aide, who can help her get around. And the interference doesn't end there. When the school principal finds out that Emmie is saving up for a new wheelchair, he plans a surprise fundraiser to help her reach her goal. However, the well-intentioned generosity of her community leaves Emmie frustrated, especially since she feels more than capable of buying a chair on her own. With the help of friends and family, Emmie finds the perfect way to assert herself. Though sports feature heavily in Air, the larger lessons on disability advocacy and finding your voice make this story especially powerful. Highly recommended for young daredevils and those looking for stories with a strong female protagonist. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.