Vision: My Story of Strength

Norton. (I, Witness). Aug. 2023. 112p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781324052296.
Gr 4-8–For young readers who are looking for hope in the face of adversity but are uninterested in sappy, sorrowful tales, hand them this autobiography of musician and recording artist Precious Perez. Born prematurely with a health issue that caused blindness, she developed an early affinity for music, singing along with her favorite artists on her beloved karaoke machine. A high school teacher recognized the extent of her talent and capability, helping her organize the funds to record an album at the school’s recording studio. Now a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and a professional in her own right, Perez finds little need in romanticizing her hardships, instead focusing on the power of her accomplishments and the inroads she’s made for other disabled musicians. While this title is fast-paced and easily digestible for a range of reading abilities, it may take some hand-selling by librarians to find its audience. The cover lacks visual appeal and the title blocks much of Perez’s radiant smile, an unfortunate stylistic feature of the “I, Witness” biographical series. Back matter includes a glossary, discussion of how visual impairments impact students, and a time line of historical events important to the visually impaired.
VERDICT A straightforward, no-nonsense biography that is nonetheless the triumphant story of a young person’s success.

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