Short of Shoes

Original title: www.bez-bot.cz
Publisher: Cattacan, Prague, 2018
ISBN: 978-80-903782-8-5
Illustrations: Jakub Troják
137 pages
Age: 12+, Children's Literature


  • Golden Ribbon for best children's literature
  • Teachers Prize

Rights sold:

Upper Sorbian

The story of a teenager coming to terms with a serious disability

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 this 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 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.

The book was written in order to show people with disabilities 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.

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