The story of a teenager coming to terms with a serious handicap, from a series of books about children who are different.
What is it like for a fifteen-year-old boy when in one fateful moment the rug is pulled from under his feet? The analogy would make Benjamin, the hero of Ivona Březinová’s novel, laugh bitterly, since an amputation has left him with phantom pains in place of legs. A schoolboy rivalry to win the favour of a girl ended in a serious ski injury, and so he faces a difficult journey from the initial resignation and fits of rage to an acceptance of reality. With the support of friends, family and health professionals, he discovers his potential in a painful process but with determination and even goes back to his beloved sport. The book’s title only becomes clear in the last chapter, which expands the educational dimension of this unsentimentally presented story. On the fictional level, the website it refers to contains reports about Ben’s sporting successes, while in reality it presents the activities of the Emil Foundation, which supports young disabled athletes. The dynamic typography with illustrations by Jakub Troják indicates that despite the hero’s handicap, reading this novel written in the natural language of today’s teenagers will be a lively ride.
“www.short-of-shoes.cz was written in order to show people with handicaps and their loved ones the process of accepting new motivation in life. It tries to understand the inner thoughts and feelings of a person who has experienced some dramatic personal change. But it is principally a story about personal triumph, indomitable will and resolve.”
“About a boy after an accident and his friends. And in particular about the struggles, victories and defeats which are an inseparable part of it. And it is definitely about the fact that if you fight, then you can’t lose. It’s written in the first person, thanks to which you can get as close to Benjamin as is possible.”