Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I found out quite early-on in my childhood I was dyslexic – although, it wasn’t truly a surprise to me I had a learning difficulty because I already had experienced issues with speech & reading comprehension. I was the kind of kid who found ways to work round her learning issues and/or find ways to compensate for what I couldn’t sort out through traditional education. I will say, the hardest part about growing up dyslexic wasn’t the alternative ways I was learning it was having to deal with traditional education & the teachers who simply did not understand how each child learns ‘differently’ irregardless if they are dyslexic or not.
Very early-on I started to notice that despite the angst of some of my difficulties making going to school less than stellar (as I would have preferred to be a homeschool student if the chance to learn at home had been a ready option as it is today without the road blocks this option had in the 80s/90s) – being dyslexic was truly a gift in my life. It allowed me to see different perspectives on things and it also kept me humbled. I hadn’t foreseen I’d grow into being a writer – though in truth, there are moments in my childhood where I wasn’t even sure I’d be a reader who devours stories either! lol Sometimes we surprise ourselves, eh?
As I move into the next stage of my life as Prospective Adoptive Mum, one thing I am noticing is how sometimes foster youth do not always have an advocate for them in the schools. This is a topic which comes up quite frequently I’ve noticed and I oft wonder why their foster parents are not doing what my own parents did for me – which is simply to step up, rally behind the child and be their advocate and voice in the school district. It isn’t complicated but it does require taking the time to listen to the child, to understand their journey and to see ways you can seek out to help them move through a transition period of difficulty. This is something I am looking forward to doing for my children – as I would love to ‘pass forward’ the advocacy I received from my parents.
This is why “Meet Me In Outer Space” appealled to me as a reader and why I wanted to highlight the story and the author on my blog today – there are a lot of different learning & processing difficulties out there. However, what is most important to realise is that with a bit more patience and a lot of empathy, not only can we all respect each other equally for what we can all give to each other but we learn and grow through interacting with people who either see the world differently than we do or they interact with the world & with us in a different way than we do with them. Keeping an open mind and a willingness to engage with people who speak differently than you do is one way of moving forward in this world. To bridge those gaps and to reach out to others who have something to say which needs to be heard.
I personally love #ownvoices narratives but what I love more than this is the fact there are new stories highlighting learning difficulties with a unique voice of their own to remain true to the characters being brought to life inside them. That is the epitome of #WeNeedDiverseBooks which is a movement celebrating everyone’s voice, lifestyle and the unique differences we all need to have the confidence to embrace in ourselves.
Meet Me In Outer Space
by Melinda Grace
Smart and unflinching, this #OwnVoices debut contemporary novel stars an ambitious college student who refuses to be defined by her central auditory processing disorder.
Edie Kits has a learning disability. Well, not a learning disability exactly, but a disability that impacts her learning. It isn’t visible, it isn’t obvious, and it isn’t something she likes to advertise.
And for three semesters of college, her hard work and perseverance have carried her through. Edie thinks she has her disability under control until she meets her match with a French 102 course and a professor unwilling to help her out.
Edie finds herself caught between getting the help she needs and convincing her professor that she isn’t looking for an easy out. Luckily for Edie, she has an amazing best friend, Serena, who is willing to stitch together a plan to ensure Edie’s success. And then there’s Hudson, the badly dressed but undoubtedly adorable TA in her French class who finds himself pulled into her orbit…
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Meet Me in Outer Space is a sweet, heartachingly real story of love and college life by debut author Melinda Grace.
Places to find the book:
on 12th March, 2019
Formats available: Hardback and Ebook
Converse on Twitter via: #YALit & #Contemporary
as well as #MeetMeInOuterSpace and #ownvoices