Book Review : Roll with it
Ellie is a twelve-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair for mobility and loves baking. She manoeuvres her wheelchair around the kitchen to cook biscuits, desserts and pies. Her father separated from her Mum when Ellie was a baby as he struggled to cope with her disability.
Ellie’s grandfather is in the early stages of dementia and her grandmother is finding it difficult to cope. Ellie’s mother is concerned for her parents and decides to move in with them. This means moving towns, changing jobs and a new school for Ellie.
There are many difficulties. Ellie’s new school isn’t equipped for someone in a wheelchair and the teachers are unprepared. Ellie’s grandparents live in a trailer park which is also not well-equipped. The situation saddens Ellie as she realises how dependant she is on others to do even basic hygiene tasks. However, there are many positives. There are two other children from Ellie’s school who live in the trailer park, Coralee and Bert and they quickly become friends.
The story is a great insight into the emotions of someone confined to a wheelchair as the story is written from Ellie’s perspective. The author, Jamie Sumner has a child in a wheelchair and writes with great empathy. We learn the particular difficulties and frustrations associated with living with cerebral palsy. The story also touches on other issues, Ellie’s grandfather’s dementia, Bert’s mild autism and Coralee’s absent parents.
An insightful well-told story.