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Gracie's Wheels cover

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Teen fiction books about disability, Overcoming adversity, Novels with disabled characters, Differently abled, Wheelchair, Paralympics, Helene Vandeloo

Gracie's Wheels
by Helene Vandeloo

Gracie's Wheels shares the story of a young girl who lost both her legs in a car accident. Prior to her accident Gracie was naturally athletic. After the accident Gracie was determined to compete again, in her wheelchair. As the story unfolds we watch on the sidelines as Gracie starts high school and the distain she faces from some of her classmates. Her one constant friend Molly is always there to support her and her main 'crush' Robbie enters her life as a full-time trainer because Gracie wants to enter the next Paralympic Games. Over the next two years with the help of Robbie and Coach Mac the High School basketball coach, Gracie learns just how strenuous and physically exhausting training can be. She relentlessly adapts to weight training, rope climbing, swimming and racing around tracks to improve her racing time. As this period of training progresses Gracie and Robbie get closer emotionally even though Robbie still pushes her to do better. Training at the track at Queens University in Kingston and swimming at the university pool builds up Gracie's upper body strength as she prepares for the pre-trials for the Paralympics. Can she successfully qualify for the Paralympic Games?

It has always been my dream to write a novel for a younger audience. I have worked with, and supported adults with physical and developmental challenges for twenty-three years. I witnessed first hand the distain and discrimination they endured on a daily basis. These individuals were labelled as "retards', 'gimps' 'vegetables' and not worthy of any attention. I preferred to see them as individuals who needed our love and support. I am retired now and have two lovely granddaughters Abby and Riley. I dedicate this story to them. My dream of penning Gracie's journey has come to fruition.

"A candle looses nothing by lighting another candle."


Helene Vandeloo
Frank Murphy

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