Nick Springer on the Move is a hard hitting picture book biography that is meant to challenge readers and inspire action. It tells the real life journey of Nick Springer who became a quadruple amputee when he contracted meningitis at the age of fourteen. It is the story of how he found his own way to boldly move through life and his indomitable determination to become a world class athlete. Nick’s sports quest and the illustrations created by mouth painter, Chris Kuster, will have you redefining ability and will change you forever.
Questions to Discuss
Before: What do you know about people with disabilities and adaptive sports? How would you define ability? How does the image on the book cover support or challenge your definition of ability?
During: When Nick is recovering in the hospital, what questions do you think are going through his mind? (p. 9)
During: How do you connect with the moment in the story when “Nick knew he could do anything. He would simply do it differently”? (p. 14)
During: What words, feelings, and images come to mind as Nick and his teammates go for gold in the Paralympic Games? What real world connections do you make to this sporting event? (pp. 20-25)
After: After reading the book including the notes from Nick, Jen, and Chris, how would you define ability? How has your definition of ability shifted or grown? Why? Now, what do you know about people with disabilities and adaptive sports?
Words to Know
meningococcal meningitis– A rare bacterial infection that can have serious complications but is vaccine-preventable. Visit the National Meningitis Association for more information.
amputee– A person who was has had a limb amputated due to traumatic injury or at birth his/her/their limbs did not fully develop. For more information and resources supporting amputees visit Amputee Coalition.
occupational therapist– According to AOTA, therapists who “help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities” (American Occupational Therapy Association).
residual limb– Refers to the body part that remains after amputation.
prosthetic/prostheses– Refers to an artificial body part such as a limb or limbs.
prosthetist– A specialist in prosthetics who assists individuals with the development, fitting, and use of their prostheses.
wheelchair rugby– A highly physical coed team sport for male and female tetraplegic athletes. It is an invasion and evasion game with the objective of the game being to carry the ball across the opposing team’s try line to score. The team with the highest score wins. Visit International Wheelchair Rugby Federation and USA Wheelchair Rugby to learn more.
Paralympic Games– An international adaptive sporting event that takes place along side the Summer and Winter Olympic Games where athletes with disabilities compete to be the best in the world. Visit International Paralympic Committee and Team USA for more information.
Actions to Take
- Donate a copy of Nick Springer on the Move to your local library or classroom to start filling the the shelves with books that feature the abilities of people with disabilities.
- Give Nick Springer on the Move to a friend or teacher as a gift and encourage them to share Nick’s story with others.
- Follow and promote Jen Stratton and Team Possible and adaptive sports organizations like Move United on social media.
- Use this graphic organizer to write your own “On the Move” story and share it with us by emailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on social media @jenstrattonandteampossible.