By: Chaz Hayden
Genre: YFB - General fiction
Published by: Walker Books Australia
Published: 7 Sep 2022
ISBN: 9781529510942


Fans of John Green, Sara Barnard and Adam Silvera will love this contemporary YA that is packed with humour and heart. A high school student with spinal muscular atrophy is determined to reinvent himself. When new-boy Harris meets cute-girl-in-his-class Nory, he is determined to prove he is more than just the kid in the powered wheelchair.

Luckily, he has a secret weapon. His new nurse Miranda. Beautiful and confident, Miranda sees Harris for who he really is – funny, smart and totally worthy of Nory’s affections. It seems everything is working out for Harris for once. But Miranda has her own demons, and Harris starts to wonder if she has his best interests at heart.

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Fifteen-year-old Harris has spinal muscular atrophy and uses a powered wheelchair. When his family moves to New Jersey from California, Harris is determined to make a new start. But unfortunately needing his Mum to accompany him to school means his new start has its limitations.

He is making some headway by befriending the dorky Zander, and things are moving in the right direction with his dream girl, Nory Fischer.
When his new young nurse Miranda takes over from his Mum things take a distinct turn for the better. The attractive Miranda also went to his school only a few years before, and so provides insights to make things easier. She soon encourages him to take risks and even becomes friends with the football team jocks – they love his feedback and endless knowledge of the game. But is Miranda encouraging him to live life a little too wild?

Despite his struggles, the ending is totally uplifting, as Harris realizes what is important in his life. Written by someone with first hand experience of this condition lends realness and warmth to Harris’ challenges and triumphs. In the author’s own words it is “not just about disability but about friendship and love and all of the things that a young person hopes to experience”. This is a tremendous novel suitable for all teenagers.

Reviewed by Rob