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Running With Roselle (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 260
 
Genre: ,
 
Author: ,
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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The fascinating tale of growing up blind, growing up a guide god, and escaping from the World Trade Center.

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Parents should discuss the events of September 11 with their children to help them understand some of the events of the book.


Final Fiendish Findings?

“How a blind boy and a puppy grew up, became best friends, and together survived one of America’s darkest days”

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Posted February 21, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“How a blind boy and a puppy grew up, became best friends, and together survived one of America’s darkest days”

Running With Roselle is not your average “a boy and his dog” tale. Both Roselle and author Michael Hingson aren’t all that average either though, and that’s what makes this such and interesting story. The book begins with a teaser of the day that made both Mike and Roselle famous, in a way they could never have anticipated. As Mike began his normal day at his office on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center, Roselle snoozed happily at his feet. What happened next is fused permanently in the brain of all Americans – terrorists crashed planes into both towers of the World Trade Center, killing many innocent people. Aided by his guide dog Roselle, Mike trekked down 78 flights of stairs amid chaos, fear, and crushing heat. But Mike and Roselle are so much more than just one day, and Running With Roselle makes that abundantly clear.

Though it’s teased at the beginning, Michael Hingson saves the details of that terrible day for the end of the book, in favor of a more chronological approach to both his and Roselle’s life. Beginning with both their births, the book goes back and forth between their childhoods, sharing notable moments from their lives as they both learn, grow, and eventually meet. Of course, Mike was born many years before Roselle, but the book flows quite nicely as each of them grows.

Mike’s tale is told from the perspective of someone who has been completely blind since just after birth. Although his parents were told he would never be a productive member of society, his was a family who chose not to believe the wisdom of the times. Mike was treated just like any other boy growing up – riding bikes, running around the neighborhood, getting into scrapes – even though the neighborhood didn’t always agree with that approach. His parents ensured he and his brother were treated the same, but they often had to fight to make sure others (including school districts, neighbors, and teachers) was allowed the same opportunities as other kids. Mike’s perspectives on growing up without being limited by his blindness are truly informative for sighted kids curious about blindness, and inspirational for children growing up without sight.

Roselle’s tale is told from her perspective, giving readers an inside look at the life of a guide dog. From her birth, Roselle was destined to work – and even if half of her counterparts never made it through the program, she was determined to fulfill her potential. From her puppyhood at Guide Dogs For the Blind, to the people who socialized her, to her intensive training, to her eventual meeting with Mike, all of Roselle’s life is presented in the engaging voice of an earnest young pup. I found the details on the training and rules guide dogs must follow to be especially interesting.

Running With Roselle is a book intended for ages eight and up, but parents should be mindful that there is some difficult subject matter that they’ll want to discuss with their children. While that day at the World Trade Center is by no means the main focus of the book, it is covered in detail in the book. Given the ages the book intended for, I think Hingson did a nice job of presenting a truly terrible event in a way that kids are able to understand, without being too frightening.

Running With Roselle is a fascinating book that can be equally enjoyed by children and their parents. Following the life of blind boy and his guide dog from birth, it offers a lot of perspective and knowledge that most people don’t have on both blindness and the work of guide dogs. While it covers Roselle and Mike’s daring rescue from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on September 11th, it also covers both their lives in a meaningful way that kids will love.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)