Redefining Normal

A Lower Merion High School senior self-publishes a book that helps kids with scoliosis overcome social anxiety.

Danielle Moskow, author of "My Back Brace and Me."Diagnosed with scoliosis at 13 and fitted for a back brace a year later, Danielle Moskow wasn’t exactly thrilled with her brand-new equipment, nor the thought of how her classmates might react. “I remember feeling really nervous when I first got it, and I wasn’t sure what people would say,” Moskow recalls.

Now 18 and brace free, the Lower Merion High School senior is bringing comfort to kids with the same issues. Her book, My Back Brace and Me, was self-published in July 2010, and it’s already making an impact. Working on her computer and using as a publishing vehicle, Moskow created Kate, an adolescent coping with a new back brace. After the initial fear wears off, Kate discovers that dealing with a back brace can become second nature—and even fun. It’s a crucial message for those already struggling with social acceptance.

This past September, Moskow unveiled her book before a crowd of children at a Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. Since then, Shriners Hospital for Children and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have added the book to their libraries. “I had no prior experience with public book readings,” she admits. “But I contacted the National Scoliosis Foundation to get their help with seeing if these local hospitals would be interested in having me there to read.”

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My Back Brace and Me is available for purchase online, with all funds used to offset publication expenses. “People have told me that I should do some sort of series with the book,” says Moskow. “As for right now, I just want to see what I can do with this book and where I can take it.”

To order copies of My Back Brace and Me, visit

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