Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Not If I See You First

Lindstrom, Eric (Author)
Little, Brown 2015. 314 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780316259859 (hardcover)
9780316259873 (paperback)
9780316259811 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, dialogue, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

High school junior Parker Grant lost her sight and her mother in a car accident, years ago. But now her father has died, too. While grieving, Parker must adapt to her cousins’ family, who’ve come to take care of her, a new “buddy” to help at school and a flood of new students—including the hated Scott, who broke her heart in middle school.

Sophisticated language relays Parker’s sightless world with style and interest, and a wide range of well-developed characters contribute to the story. Parker’s own prickly, no-nonsense insight is beautifully conveyed through intelligent narration and dialogue. “After she leaves, I say to Sarah, ‘Was that a laugh of grudging newfound respect or was she rolling her eyes because she really does think I’m an idiot?’”

The desire for emotional and physical independence merge with themes of vulnerability, empathy and forgiveness. Functional details of Parker’s blindness intrigue, as she negotiates school halls, neighbourhood streets and the field where she runs. But perhaps it’s the individuated charms and wisdom of the characters that most impress, such as when Parker’s new “buddy,” Molly, remarks, “A million quiet things happen all the time. I’m supposed to be your eyes but I can’t tell you every single little thing. How am I supposed to decide?”

Experiencing loss, grief, other perspectives and her own rationalizations begins the healing process for Parker, as she finally turns her keen perception onto herself. The happy results include a spot on the track team and the re-kindling of lost love.

  •  The reader experiences the world through the senses of a blind narrator who is discovering her own sense of agency as she deals with life and loss.
  •  

    Discuss the way the adolescent characters are constructed and how these representations either contradict or reinforce dominant ideas of adolescence.

  •  

    Include the novel as part of a text set that explores issues related to identity and adolescence in preparation for reading circles that explore these representations in YA literature.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development