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Emily Included: A True Story.

Written by Kathleen McDonnell Second Story Press 2011 978-1-926920-33-7 (pb) $8.95 for Grades 3 to 6

Non-fiction | Eaton, Emily | Children with Disabilities | Inclusive Education

Emily, eager to partake in ordinary activities with friends, was born with cerebral palsy, unable to speak and lacking control over her movements. Despite these limitations, she thrives at her local school where she feels accepted, participating as fully as possible. School authorities, however, believe she should attend a special school for the disabled--a school where her family feel she will be marginalized.

This is the true story of a five-year landmark case to provide equality for Emily and others with disabilities, as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights. Upholding the Eaton family's belief, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that children in Emily's situation should be part of mainstream education and segregated only in extreme situations.

A proud moment in Canadian history is told with sensitivity and authenticity despite the book's limited visual appeal. Kathleen McDonnell has conveyed in short, readable chapters, illustrated with black and white photographs, both Emily's personal story and its larger impact. Told in the third person, Emily's inner thoughts and emotions are interpreted for us. In her determination to overcome her medical prognosis and lead a full life as well as battle for equality, Emily is a role model. Equally inspiring are her advocates who understand that, for Emily to thrive, she needs inclusion not isolation from her community.

This book is an enjoyable read as it stands. However in the hands of educators and caregivers, its value for children will be greatly enhanced through discussion of the various thought-provoking topics it engenders.


Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.

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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Wortley, Aileen
Publication:Canadian Children's Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2012
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