Blindside is a dyslexia friendly revised version of Aidan Chambers’s Cycle Smash, from almost 50 years ago. If you read it as an adult, your heart will be in your mouth as young Nate cycles off into the evening. Because you can imagine it being your child and you can tell what must be about to happen.
But if you’re a teenager, it will presumably just read like an interesting and exciting story about an athlete who likes running, and who is about to go on to great things. Were it not for the bike accident, of course.
Seriously injured, Nate is furious that he won’t be running again, and is not terribly grateful for actually being alive. We see him in his hospital bed, feeling sorry for himself and ready to do really stupid things. But then – and I reckon this is where the original date of the story shows through – his kindly nurse tells him what she thinks of his behaviour and sets him off on a new course.
Because there are people far worse off than Nate, and it’s time he realised this. As he does, you might want a tissue handy.
And if you are a parent, you’ll be out locking your child’s bike away.