This is an outstanding book review by one of our 8th graders, Maya. Get her take on the book and see if it inspires you to read Just Don’t Fall.
Just Don’t Fall is Josh Sundquist’s memoir of how he lost his leg to childhood cancer at age nine. Despite his disability he set his sights on to becoming paralympic skier, and in later life a motivational speaker. He also speaks about how he overcame the social, emotional, and physical challenges of having only one leg while growing up.
Josh writes the book in first-person, telling us what is happening rather than what did happen. I like the way the reader experiences a sense of immediacy about his situation while experiencing the story. As you read, you feel as though you are right there with him during every part of his journey. For example, when Josh is sitting in his parents van in his driveway, they explain to him that he will have to get his leg amputated. He cries, and although he is surrounded with the comfort of his family, he is devastated. (Keep in mind, he is only nine when this occurs.) Leading up to the amputation, Josh has a difficult time accepting the reality that he will lose a leg even at his young age, he deals with the setback with a determined and courageous attitude.
Sundquist, did a wonderful job of depicting his very inspirational memoir on how he elegantly and triumphantly overcame adversity. Josh was able to make the story enjoyable and funny, along with some lighthearted meaningful anecdotes. On the other hand, unfortunately, some of the retellings of events were bit over the top and exaggerated and some events I felt were unnecessary to the story. Sadly, because of this, the ending portion of the book didn’t manage to hold my attention. I deeply enjoyed the beginning of the memoir; his journey through cancer and his discovery for his love of skiing was intriguing and memorable.
I got my hopes up after reading the first part of the book, and was let down at the ending. Despite this imperfection, if anyone is looking for something inspiring and an easy read I would recommend this book to them. Just as a warning, this book would be considered a teen\young adult book.