Sara Polsky reviews THE ELEMENTALS + giveaway! | Disability in Kidlit
“I’ll start with the verdict: I loved the way Saundra Mitchell writes about disability in The Elementals. Julian Birch, one of the protagonists, has a “withered” leg from a childhood bout of polio, and Mitchell’s depiction of him is one of the most believable, relatable portrayals of disability I’ve come across.
Julian’s disability is present but backgrounded to the rest of the story, which focuses on the mysterious powers that Julian and Kate, a girl Julian sees only in visions, seem to share. As Julian goes about his life — experimenting with his powers, working on his family’s farm, thinking about the girl he hopes to marry — Mitchell often notes the way Julian moves. In an early scene, he “hauled himself up,” “thumped” across a porch, and leaned against a railing for support, and the ways in which he uses his crutches to do things that an able-bodied person might do with his legs (trip one of his brothers, for instance). These adaptations, when described from Julian’s point of view, seem like a thoroughly ordinary part of his life.”
[read the rest of the review!]
In honor of Disability in Kidlit's one-year anniversary, you have a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of Saundra Mitchell’s YA historical fantasy novel The Elementals. Simply leave a comment on the WordPress post or reblog this Tumblr post. (Yes, doing both increases your chances!) In one week, we’ll select a single winner from one of these locations. This giveaway is open to North American addresses.