Jordan Reeves on Her Inspiring New Book, Born Just Right
You may recognize Jordan Reeves from her newsworthy invention, Project Unicorn, a prosthetic arm that doubles as a glitter cannon! As a maker, Jordan wanted to create something that celebrated her differences and inspired other kids to do the same.
After advocating for kids with disabilities for most of her life, Jordan and her mom, Jen Lee Reeves have co-authored a book chronicling Jordan’s incredible life story. Born Just Right is a memoir following Jordan’s biggest achievements, her biggest challenges, and everything in between. Just like the work they do with their Born Just Right Foundation, they are hoping to support kids with limb differences as well as spread awareness and acceptance.
From tween advocate for limb difference and founder of Project Unicorn Jordan Reeves and her mom, Jen, comes an inspiring memoir about how every kid is perfect just the way they are.
When Jordan Reeves was born without the bottom half of her left arm, the doctors reassured her parents that she was “born just right.” And she has been proving that doctor right ever since!
With candor, humor, and heart, Jordan’s mother, Jen Lee Reeves, helps Jordan tell her story about growing up in an able-bodied world and family, where she was treated like all of her siblings and classmates—and where she never felt limited. Whether it was changing people’s minds about her capabilities, trying all kinds of sports, or mentoring other kids, Jordan has channeled any negativity into a positive, and is determined to create more innovations for people just like her.
Her most famous invention, aptly called Project Unicorn, is a special prosthetic (that shoots glitter!) made with the help of a 3-D printer. A real-life superhero, Jordan is changing the world with her foundation, Born Just Right, which advocates and celebrates kids with differences, and helps them live their best possible life—just like Jordan is today!
Born Just Right
AUTHORS: Jordan Reeves and Jen Lee Reeves
DATE: June 4, 2019
Jordan is also passionate about fostering kids interests in STEM/STEAM. She does so through the BJR Foundation, as well as the STEAM Squad, a group of teen girls working together lift each other up and support others. Jordan even had the opportunity to consult with Mattel to create one of their new Barbie Fashionista dolls with a prosthetic leg, a big step for representation for kids with disabilities in the toy world.
We were so excited to chat with Jordan about her new book, championing kids with differences, and why she believes that all kids can be changemakers!
Get to Know Jordan Reeves:
- Tell us a little bit about your new book, Born Just Right.
JORDAN REEVES: All of this happened after people noticed a really cool invention I created, it’s a prosthetic arm that shoots glitter, and I called it Project Unicorn. I realized I had something important to say and a book was a way to tell my story. Born Just Right is a memoir and a chance to share my journey so far — the good and the bad, and the lessons learned. But, most importantly, I hope anyone who reads it will think differently about disability. I also hope more kids will realize they can make a difference in the world if they work hard and find adults who can help support and empower them.
There are a lot of picture books that help kids learn about disability. I wanted to make sure there were more chapter books to help older kids talk more and feel less nervous about disabilities. Middle school is awkward enough, it’s great to have a new reason to think and talk about disabilities!
- You’ve been sharing your story in many ways over the past few years – from your incredible glitter shooting prosthetic to your Born Just Right foundation. How did you and your mom decide that writing a book was the next step?
JORDAN: Well, through the work we do with Born Just Right, we’ve had the chance to speak with other kids and families. We thought the time was right to encourage a more open conversation about disability and for kids to get a better understanding of what it means to be disabled. So many people think that disability is a bad word, but there’s nothing bad about me or anyone with disabilities. We are just different, and that’s OK. And hopefully, after people read my book, they’ll agree! I hope I can help change the conversation about disability.
- Why is it important to you to be an advocate and supporter for kids with differences?
JORDAN: I read somewhere that there are more than 2.8 million families in the U.S. that have at least one kid with a disability. There’s also a little more than 2,000 kids with a limb difference like me. That means I’m part of a big community.
There are many people like me out there in the world, but we don’t always get a fair shot or have access to the same opportunities as everyone else. I mean, I’m a one-handed kid living in a two-handed world. And even though I’ve had the chance to do some amazing things, I recognize that’s not always the case for kids with different abilities. I recognized my opportunities when I was a little kid and just wanted to do something about it. If I can help others see kids with disabilities differently, that would be awesome.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on your journey and how have you learned from it?
JORDAN: I’m different but I consider myself just like anyone else. A one-handed life is the only one I’ve ever known. But sometimes it can be frustrating to not be able to do the same things at the same speed as everyone else. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with people looking at me strangely or asking me so many questions. But then I remember that I have an opportunity to raise awareness about people like me. We all have good and bad days. On the good ones, I really like helping change perspectives.
I’ve also learned more about the power of conversation and how it can change people’s perception of you. That’s what I’m trying to do, get people to see disability differently and talk more about it.
- What does the phrase BORN JUST RIGHT mean to you?
JORDAN: The story in my family is, when I arrived into the world my dad said that I was born “just right,” because I am just right the way I am – AND I’m JUST right-handed! Get it?!
But, I think over the years, it’s taken on new meaning. It’s also this sort a reminder that we really are doing great just the way we are. It reminds me that nothing is wrong with me. Yes, I’m different, but I’m not an alien from outer space. I’m human just like everyone else. I hope it helps others believe the same thing!
- You’ve been an inspiration for quite a lot of kids out there, but we’d love to know – who inspires YOU?
JORDAN: The person who inspires me the most is my good friend, Naomi Wadler. She is an amazing activist who is speaking up to make sure there’s more awareness of how black and brown girls are treated in the world. She inspires me to keep speaking up for myself and others.
- What are a few of your favorite reads?
JORDAN: I really love all books that are historical fiction. I’m reading The Book Thief right now. I’ve also read a lot of books that are focused on activism – both fiction and nonfiction like The Hate U Give and Glimmer of Hope.
- What is your biggest dream for the future?
JORDAN: I hope more kids get the opportunity to reimagine the world differently. I think we’re all changemakers and I know we have a lot of ideas about how to make the world a better place. I hope more people will help us to reimagine it – like others have done for me – and allow us the chance to contribute to it in our own way regardless of any differences we might have.
- How do you embrace your girl power?
JORDAN: I try to see my difference as a unique part of what makes me me. Instead of hiding my difference, I used it to shoot glitter out of my arm, thanks to my first invention, Project Unicorn. Who else can say that?! I’ve learned that by using your voice and imagination, you never know where it may lead. I’ve been able to have some pretty cool experiences and I wish that for every girl.
- What advice would you like to share with your fans and followers?
JORDAN: Don’t shy away from having conversations about difference. It can be tough, but I think in the end it’s worth it. If we’re going to bring about real change, we have to get comfortable having the uncomfortable conversations. If you can’t talk about it, you won’t make any progress!
Feeling empowered by Jordan’s amazing story? Get to know fellow STEAM Squad member, Allie Weber!