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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Every child is unique and has unique qualities. Some of these qualities might be defined as disabilities. However, what these qualities are is challenges. Liam was one of the challenges that entered the life of teacher R. Janet Walraven. Liam, a teenager when he entered her classroom, couldn’t read, write, or even speak and was socially withdrawn and bullied. Before she could help Liam, she had to find the root cause of his special quality. What she discovered was a young boy who saw the world upside down. Now that his special quality was recognized she could help him, one step at a time. It was a difficult journey for both of them, but one that proves how everyone has potential, even if that potential is upside down.
R. Janet Walraven’s book, Liam: The Boy Who Saw the World Upside Down, is a compelling and engaging read that will have you both crying and cheering as the teacher and student tread some difficult paths together. Walraven, Liam’s special teacher, shares her story and Liam’s heartwarming revelation of what can be achieved if one cares enough to see past the surface and dig deep enough to find an answer. The story is encouraging and insightful as she brings to light a unique quality not often recognized in young people. We’ve heard about dyslexia and other reading disabilities, but few people have heard of reversal of vision metamorphopsia (RVM) because it is rare. It isn’t easy to diagnose because a person with RVM doesn’t realize that they see things differently from others when they see a 180° rotation of the visual field in the coronal plane, in other words, upside-down. This inspirational story will encourage others, parents, caregivers, and teachers, to look beyond the surface and help these exceptional cases with unique qualities. A story that is both educational and intuitive.