Zoe's Extraordinary Holiday Adventures ISBN: 9781897187265
Minaki, Christina
Published by Second Story Press, 2007
Zoe uses a wheelchair and her hands don't always do what she wants them to, but she is a sparky, lively character, bright as a button and often frustrated that she can't do everything she'd like. Her chocolate labrador, Ella, is a trained helper and Zoe's lifeline. Best friend Anna accepts Zoe's disabilities completely, as do her parents and brother Simon and most of her classmates, but not everyone is understanding. Classmate Lisa can be rude and even takes advantage, unkind comments are overheard from strangers, a waitress refuses to take an order from Zoe directly - all these things hurt, and Zoe so much wants to be able to dance and skip and run and walk like everyone else. (She does walk some at home, but hates for people to see her awkwardness.) The basic theme of this novel is Zoe's learning to accept herself and to deal with the individuals who refuse to see her as a whole person. Woven through the story is Zoe's class's learning about various cultural traditions - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Divali, Ramadan and Eid. They share the food, make decorations and learn about how the festivals are celebrated, And as they do so, we learn too. Differences are what make people interesting, and learning about different cultures helps Zoe (and us) understand that differences are important in all aspects of life. the story is set in Canada, but the book is available in the UK from Amazon or from Gazelle Books: 01524 68765 or sales@gazellebooks.co.uk. Oh, and Zoe gets her adventure!
Age: 8+