Blind Spot

332p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-76344-6; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-76380-4.
Gr 8 Up—Roswell Hart has macular degeneration, which causes everything in her line of vision to be obstructed by spots. To the independent teen, her placement in a learning-skills class is an insult to her intelligence and her determination to live a normal life. The way the author approaches the issue of legal blindness is the book's strongest attribute. The rest of it falls short of delivering a good read. A troubled classmate is found dead in the river, having been missing for six months. Roz had fought with her and was the last one to see her alive; she has no memories of that night. And now she is accused of murder. The book is simply written, but readers become bogged down in the slow-moving plot. The characters lack dimension and are difficult to connect with. The "bad-guy" teacher is completely incompetent and unprofessional. The police supporting a scheme by a bunch of minors to bring the dead girl "back to life" to ensnare the murderer is highly improbable. The characters bicker, feel sorry for themselves, and lie to one another. Even though current issues are included in the novel (date rape, absent fathers, inept mothers, drug use), they do not add any credibility to the characters or the story.—Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

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