Sharing the joy of children’s books

Not If I See You First

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It’s September, which means two things: the schools are back and so are Teenfunked Thursdays! To kick us off Mair Kelly tackles Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. 

Not If I See You FirstParker Grant is blind and doesn’t need help from anybody. She’s independent and doesn’t like relying on anybody but herself. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from people who can see, and has created her own set of rules for people so they know how she wants to be treated. I feel she’s pretty hard on her friends and family who don’t want to help just because she’s blind but because they care so much about her.

“Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise, you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.”

Parker is selfish and mostly puts herself first before considering her friends and family. She’s not a particularly likeable character, but that’s sort of why she’s likeable, she’s sort of an anti-hero. You want to see her succeed, you want to see her happy but you also wouldn’t mind if someone gave her a clip round the ear and told her to cop on. There’s a fine line between being honest and being rude.

She doesn’t have the nicest backstory and with the recent passing of her father she isn’t in the best place when the story starts but I think throughout the story she starts to take a look at herself and how people perceive her and realise perhaps not everyone is out for her blood.

“Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.”

I liked the way Not If I See You First wasn’t all about romance. It was about how Parker dealt with everyday life, her friends, family, how she tries to do things people who can see do. Romance does appear in the characters of Jason and Scott. Parker used to be close with Scott when she was 13 but things ended badly between them and many of her trust issues stem from that incident.

I found the point of view of Not If I See You First interesting. I had read Michael Morpurgo’s The Sleeping Sword where the main character was also blind but that was a very different story. I liked this book but probably wouldn’t say I loved it. I found the character very well developed but sometimes I felt the story was a little rushed and some parts didn’t fit into the story.

I would recommend this book to my friends who enjoy emotional books and stories that raise awareness about disabilities.

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About the author

Mair Kelly

Mair Kelly is 18 years old and lives in Co. Cork. An avid reader, Mair especially loves detective novels. Her favourite authors are Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy and Terry Pratchett. There are so many books that she loves but her top three at the moment are 'The Inheritance Cycle' by Christopher Paolini, 'Jude the Obscure' by Thomas Hardy and 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell. Her other hobbies include drawing with pastel chalks, photography and she is also actively involved in table-tennis.

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