My Thirteenth Winter By Samantha Abeel

My Thirteenth Winter is the story about a girl named Samantha Abeel. At the age of thirteen, she was diagnosed with a math-related learning disability called dyscalculia. This disability also affects her normal life. She is not able to tell time like other people are. The story is about her struggles in math and social life.

Signs of her disability have shown up all her life, but Samantha only knew about her problem when she turned fifteen. One symptom that occurred often in her youth, especially in junior high, was panic attacks. The panic attacks consisted of stomachaches and a feeling of nausea, even though she never actually threw up.

One of my favorite parts of the story is when she is in high school. Samantha meets a watercolor painter named Charlie. Charlie sends his paintings to Samantha and she writes poetry about what is happening in the paintings. After a while of this, Charlie and Samantha publish a book with the art and poetry called Reach for the Moon. Her book becomes very popular, and she ends up going on tour around the United States, talking about her disability and her book. Samantha recieves many messages from people who read her book. Some of the messages were from people who struggled with problems like Samanthas, and by reading Reach for the Moon, theyfelt more confident in themselves.

Reach for the Moon by Samantha Abeel and Charles R. Murphy

If I were to rate the book My Thirteenth Winter on a scale from 1 to 5, I would rate it a 5. I would rate it this way because the book taught me how a simple math-related learning disability can affect your life more than you would think. Even though Samantha had dyscalculia and struggled just to tell the time, she persevered and would do anything to help her problems, even if it meant moving to a special math class. Samantha, despite her disability, even graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachesetts with honors. I give Samantha a great deal of respect for everything she did in her life, and it made me feel more confident in myself anytime I was in a tough situation.

Credits:

Created with images by Ramdlon - "math number school"

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