My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best, pictures by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Summary: Zulay enjoys first grade with her three best friends. Even though she’s blind, she can do almost everything the other kids do. She doesn’t like it when she has to leave the class to work with Ms. Turner, who helps her learn to use a cane. But she does like writing on her Braille typewriter, learning math with manipulatives, and singing and dancing on the playground with Maya, Nancy, and Chyng. When the teacher announces an upcoming field day, Zulay is as enthusiastic as her classmates, and decides she wants to run a race. The class is silent when she makes that announcement, but Ms. Turner is confident Zulay can do it and works with her every day to get her ready. When the big day comes, Zulay runs around the track with Ms. Turner and joyfully breaks through the ribbon at the finish line. Ages 4-9

Pros: Readers will be interested to see how this exuberant girl participates in everything that interests her even though she can’t see. The author wrote this story after seeing a visually impaired girl thriving in a first-grade classroom at a New York City public school.

Cons: The title doesn’t exactly roll right off your tongue.

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