On My Own: The Journey Continues

This cover shows a color photo of me in a red top, standing with my cane, looking out at the world, quizzically.

Jacket Copy: “In this sequel to Taking Hold: My Journey into Blindness, Sally is blind, except for a sliver of sight from her left eye. Now on her own in the city, she is desperate to maintain her independence, despite the fears that assail her as she confronts new obstacles. With the help of friends, she adjusts to her new job at the training program where she had been a student. But when Sally loses the last of her sight, she has to begin again rebuilding her confidence. Conquering her fear, she goes to graduate school and continues to date, hoping to find the one man who is right for her. On My Own is the story of a life rebuilt and joy rediscovered.”

Farrar Straus & Giroux (J); 1st ed edition, 1997

Ages 9 to 12, Grades 6 to 10

Hardcover 165 pages

ISBN 978-0-374-35641-5

Awards and Honors

Junior Library Guild Selection

This is a picture of a starfish, made by Leslie when she was eighteen.

You might wonder why this starfish is meaningful. At the end of the book, Bob and I find a starfish on a beach in Ireland. It is missing an arm. I used this discovery as a metaphor in the book and got mercilessly teased by Leslie, Joel, and Bob. They quoted from the page, adding their own melodramatic remarks, and had a lot of laughs at my expense. This particular photo is of a starfish that Leslie made when she was eighteen.


Booklist Copyright 1997, American Library Association

“Alexander continues her autobiography, which she began in Taking Hold: My Journey into Blindness (1994). Blind and just starting out on her own in an apartment in Pittsburgh, she must find her way to the bus stop, grocer, cleaners, etc., and learn how to deal with the relationships and anxieties of her new job teaching life skills to the newly blind. As the story continues, Alexander attempts to resume a social life and starts graduate school. She is devastated when the last bits of her vision disappear and she suffers some hearing loss. Readers will follow her troubles and her rebounding spirit with heartache and hope. [This book] is as uplifting as the first book and is sure to be read with eagerness.”

The Horn Book, Copyright 1997

“This follow-up to Taking Hold: My Journey into Blindness covers the author’s further experiences, including teaching life skills classes for the newly blind, attending graduate school, dating, and dealing with the loss of what little eyesight she still had. The author’s uphill battle for independence and happiness will hold readers’ interest.”

Available on Recorded Books

This cover shows a color photo of me in a red top, standing with her cane, looking out at the world, quizzically.

Recorded Books, 2004

ISBN 978-1-402-51478-4