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📚 🏊🏻‍♀️ “Breathing Underwater” by Abbey Nash 🏊🏻‍♀️📚

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ever since I saw the description, I have wanted to read it. It’s rare that there is a book about a health-challenged protagonist who competes in sports. Especially since the sport was swimming, I was intrigued, and this book did not let me down.

Tess is a teenager who swims competitively at her school. She is one of the top swimmers on her team. However, when her frenemy invites her to a sleepover and Tess has a seizure, her life seems to go downhill. She is diagnosed with epilepsy and eventually begins to learn what is really important in life.

My favorite part about this book is that Tess finds a way to do what she loves—swim—in spite of the obstacles her epilepsy presents. I think that’s a really important message that people with health challenges can still do what they love and achieve their goals, even if it looks different.

I also liked that the novel gives a lot of information about epilepsy without sounding like a textbook. The information is presented through Tess’ experience, which was really interesting. The novel was educational for me because I didn’t know much about epilepsy before I read the book.

The information about epilepsy was also very well-written because the author has epilepsy herself.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves swimming; there were a lot of references to the sport included. This was an inspiring read and I’m glad I read it.

Here is the synopsis:

In this slice-of-life, sensitively written novel, a teen girl grapples with a sudden epilepsy diagnosis, all while figuring out a new crush and an uncertain future. Seventeen-year-old Tess Cooper lives by three train hard, study hard, work hard. Swimming is her best chance at a college scholarship. It’s what her parents, her coaches, and even her best friend expect from her—and Tess can always deliver. Until tragedy strikes. Tess has a seizure, and her world suddenly becomes one of doctor visits, missed practices, and a summer job stuck behind a counter—not sitting high in the lifeguard chair like every year before. Instead, her spot goes to new guy Charlie. Sure, his messy hair and laid-back demeanor sends Tess’ heart racing, but this isn’t really the time. She’s got to focus on getting back in the pool—regardless of what her doctor or anyone else says.

📚 Happy reading! 📚

#themightyreaders #Epilepsy

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📚 “Sick Kids In Love” by Hannah Moskowitz 📚

This book was one of the best I’ve ever read that explored discrimination against invisible illnesses and ableism. It also was not just a romance, so I would recommend it for anyone who deals with an invisible illness.

The synopsis:

Isabel has one rule: no dating. It's easier—It's safer—It's better—for the other person. She's got issues. She's got secrets. She's got rheumatoid arthritis. But then she meets another sick kid. He's got a chronic illness Isabel's never heard of, something she can't even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who's a doctor. Isabel has one rule: no dating. It's complicated—It's dangerous—It's never felt better—to consider breaking that rule for him.

#themightyreaders #RheumatoidArthritis #GaucherDisease

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💚 Spotlight—“Cerebral Palsy: A Beauty To Be Discovered” by Tylia Flores 💚

In honor of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, I wanted to share a book that’s been on my To-Be-Read List for a long time. “Cerebral Palsy: A Beauty To Be Discovered” is a book by Mighty contributor Tylia Flores! I can’t wait to read this book, and to Tylia, thank you for giving the CP community—and all of us— a story of self-love.
Here is the synopsis:
Bringing you the story of Tylia L. Flores, a multiple-time published author and disability activist, “Cerebral Palsy: A beauty to be discovered” tells how she conquered despite the many challenges and obstacles her condition brought to her. With a condition that society does not understand, she brings a whole new perspective to self-love.

📚 Happy reading & Happy National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day! 💚

#themightyreaders #CerebralPalsy @tylialflores

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Two Books That Really Made Me Think About Life and Mortality

We all have those books that hit us really hard—those books that make us think and have an impact on our lives. Here are two books that did so for me:

1.“The Honest Truth” by Dan Gemeinhart

In all the ways that matter, Mark is a “normal” kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day. But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from. So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier—even if it's the last thing he ever does. “The Honest Truth” is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and the incredible journey of the human spirit.

2.“Side Effects May Vary” by Julie Murphy

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel about a girl with cancer who creates a take-no-prisoners bucket list that sets off a war at school—only to discover she's gone into remission. When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done. Contemporary realistic fiction readers who love romantic stories featuring strong heroines will find much to savor in this standout debut.

#themightyreaders #Cancer

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Funniest Book You’ve Ever Read

Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. With that in mind, what is the funniest book you’ve ever read?

#themightyreaders #selfcare

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📚 “Fear Of Missing Out” by Kate McGovern 📚

I read a very thought-provoking young-adult book about cancer lately, and I wanted to share it here. I like books that make me think, and I wondered if some of you are the same way.

Everyone has a fear of missing out on something—a party, a basketball game, a hangout after school. But what if it's life that you'll be missing out on? When Astrid learns that her cancer has returned, she hears about a radical technology called cryopreservation that may allow her to have her body frozen until a future time when—and if—a cure is available. With her boyfriend, Mohit, and her best friend, Chloe, Astrid goes on a road trip in search of that possibility. To see if it's real. To see if it's worth it. For fear of missing out on everything.

📚 Happy reading! 🧬

#themightyreaders #Cancer

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✨Memoir Spotlight—“Old Before My Time” by Hayley Okines✨

The extraordinary life of Britain’s 100-year-old teenager. Hayley Okines is like no other 13-year-old schoolgirl. Born with the rare genetic condition progeria, she ages eight times faster than the average person. In medical terms her body is like that of a 100-year-old woman. Yet she faces her condition with immense courage and a refreshing lack of self-pity. In “Old Before My Time”, Hayley and her mum Kerry reflect on her unusual life. Share Hayley's excitement as she travels the world meeting her pop heroes Kylie, Girls Aloud and Justin Bieber and her sadness as she loses her best friend to the disease at the age of 11. Now as she passes the age of 13 ― the average life expectancy for a child with progeria ― Hayley talks frankly about her hopes for the future and her pioneering drug trials in America which could unlock the secrets of aging for everyone...

#themightyreaders #Progeria

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📚The Names They Gave Us” by Emery Lord 📚

I read a great book recently called “The Names They Gave Us”. It’s a young-adult book, but I would consider it a great read for adults as well. My grandmother had metastatic breast cancer, so I was really able to empathize with the characters.

When it all falls apart, who can you believe in? Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job. Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be. It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

#themightyreaders #BreastCancer #Cancer #Trauma #Christianity

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Why do you like to read?

I’m pretty sure we all like to read, but have you ever wondered “why”? I like to read for two main reasons: Reading helps me tune out when I’m emotionally drained, and it was something to occupy my time since I couldn’t play sports. Now, I like reading because it’s entertaining. What about you?
#themightyreaders #Selfcare

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Books Featuring Ballet Dancers With Health Challenges

A lot of people use performing arts, like ballet, as an outlet. It turns out, fictional characters do, too! Here is a list of books featuring ballet dancers with health challenges:

1. “Brave Enough” by Kati Gardner
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines. Davis Channing understands all too well what it's like to give up control of your life. He's survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he's been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he's got it together, Davis's ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life. Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?

2. “The Other Side of Perfect” by Mariko Turk
This YA follows Alina, an aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet—as well as the darker side of her former dream. Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg—and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it. After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and bingeing ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected—namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive cast-mate she just might be falling for. But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet—something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?

3. “Sparrow” by Mary Cecilia Jackson
*This may be triggering to readers who have experienced domestic violence, trauma, and abuse.

Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….

4. “How It Feels To Fly” by Kathryn Holmes
The movement is all that matters. For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

📚 Happy reading! 🩰

#themightyreaders #performingartistsonthemighty #Cancer #MentalHealth #Depression #Abuse #Trauma #EatingDisorders

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