Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness

This cover is a portrait of me, hands on my cane, with a lake and mountains in the background.

Jacket Copy: “This book for grades four and up chronicles the two year period when Sally gradually lost her sight and learned to manage life with a disability. Waking up one morning, she discovered that she could only see a gray cloud out of her right eye. A trip to the ophthalmologist revealed that she had suffered a retinal hemorrhage. As the months passed, the hemorrhages spread to her left eye, too, and the treatments and tests produced no solutions. Sally understood that she would become blind. She entered a training program to find the skills necessary to live independently and searched for the inner resources to cope with something that had changed her whole way of life.”

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing;
Library Binding edition, 1994

Grades 6 to 12

Hardcover 128 pages

ISBN 978-0-027-00402-1

Awards and Honors

Christopher Medal

Carolyn Field Honor Book

Book for the Teenage Junior Library Guild selection

Christopher Medal

This is me receiving the Christopher Medal with Bob and Leslie to my right

Awarded to Taking Hold: My Journey into Blindness, this medal honors books that achieve artistic excellence and reflect the highest values of the human spirit. The front of the medal shows St. Christopher, ready to cross the water, carrying the little boy who grows heavier and heavier because he turns out to be Jesus.

The front of the Christopher Medal shows St. Christopher, ready to cross the water, carrying the little boy who grows heavier and heavier because he turns out to be Jesus. At the base, my name and the year 1994 are engraved.The back of the Christopher Medal contains the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, 'It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.'

Reviews

The Horn Book, 1995

“An honest, sometimes heart wrenching, story.”

Booklist, 1995

“Alexander’s story of her adjustment to blindness reads like a gripping suspense novel. She was a perfectly healthy third-grade teacher when she first noticed a black line flit across her eye and disappear... Her emphasis is not on the hospitals and the rehab center but on coming to grips with her disability and all the accompanying emotions of fear, anger, despair, and acceptance. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend is realistically and poignantly portrayed. Since the ending downplays the serious obstacles she has yet to face, the story is uplifting, and readers will find the pages turning quickly.”

Available on Recorded Books

This cover is a portrait of me, hands on my cane, with a lake and mountains in the background.

Recorded Books; Unabridged edition, 2002

ISBN 978-1-402-51520-0