9781554884476

Free as a Bird

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781554884476

  • ISBN10:

    1554884470

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-02-15
  • Publisher: Dundurn Pr Ltd
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Summary

Ruby Jean Sharp comes from a time when being a developmentally disabled person could mean growing up behind locked doors and barred windows and being called names like "retard" and "moron". Born with Down's syndrome, Ruby Jean is lovingly cared for by her grandmother. But after Grandma dies when Ruby is eight, her mother takes her to Woodlands School in New Westminster, British Columbia, and never comes back. As Ruby Jean herself says: "Can't say why they called it a school -- a school's a place you go for learning an then after you get to go home. I never learnt much bout ledders and numbers, an I sure never got to go home. Nope, only stayed at Woodlands all day an all night. I lived on Ward 33". It's here in an institution that opened in 1878 and was originally called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum that Ruby Jean learns to survive isolation, boredom, and every kind of abuse. Just when she can hardly remember if she's ever been happy, she learns a lesson about patience and perseverance from an old crow.

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