Not If I See You First
Authors: Eric Lindstrom
Published: December 1, 2015 by Poppy
GoodReads Summary: The Rules:
Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.
Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.
Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.
Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.
When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Erid Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.
Review: The story is about a girl who is blind and a runner. I feel like I learned so much for this book from the physical and mental strength of this young girl. Frankly, I can’t quite find the words to express how much it taught me about life. The narrator is feisty, and I appreciated her candor about her disability. I came to realize how incredibly frustrating it would be to deal with the same reactions from strangers every day, particularly when she feels perfectly capable. This is a great book to teach empathy.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: We don’t talk about disability in literature enough. I would love to put students in literature circles, with all of the texts focusing on disability. It would be interesting to have whole-class discussions about the way disability is present in each text. It might be particularly interesting to include texts that feature mental and physical disability. This might lead to good discussions, like: What is disability? Is a disability always visible to others? What is normal?
Discussion Questions: The narrator of the text is unlikable. How does this add to the story? Why might the author have written the text in this way?; Do you think Parker’s rules are fair? Why do you think she has this list of rule?
We Flagged: I flagged this section because it shows Parker’s dry humor:
“‘So you’re blind, huh?’
I cock my head toward the unfamiliar male voice coming from the seat directly in front of me. Low-pitched a bit thick around the vowels. The voice of a jock, but I just keep that as a working hypothesis awaiting more evidence.”
Read This If You Loved: The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, Girl, Stolen by April Henry, Blind by Rachel DeWoskin, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper