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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Paloma’s Dream is written by Florida middle school student Paloma Rambana. Paloma has grown up with Peters Anomaly, a rare eye condition which results in what she calls “low vision.” With only 20/200 vision, she is legally blind, but with the aid of modern technological devices she is able to see well enough to accomplish more in her few years than most accomplish in a lifetime. Florida has an odd gap in funding for kids age six to thirteen who are blind or visually impaired. Paloma’s parents can afford to give her the education and technological aids she needs, but many other children are not so lucky. At age nine, Paloma got to skip some school to lobby in the state capital for closing the funding gap. As she grew more confident, Paloma put her school drama experience to good use and gave many more speeches and interviews. She won award after award for her advocacy. Paloma’s Dream is her story.
Paloma Rambana is a remarkable young lady and she is a passionate advocate for those less fortunate than herself. I enjoyed reading about all the amazing doors that have opened for her, but the parts I enjoyed the most were where she let her personality shine through. For example, at dinner in the dark, an event where all guests are blindfolded to simulate what it would be like to be blind, Paloma threw caution to the wind and chewed with her mouth open, just to see what the big deal was. Paloma’s Dream is the account of how much she has accomplished, but baffling to me is the fact that even though she was able to secure one million dollars for kids in the gap, as of the writing of this book the gap was still not fully funded. And so Paloma is still at it. I recommend Paloma’s Dream as an inspiration to middle school students. It is amazing what a passionate kid can accomplish when they are willing to speak up.