Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, illustrations by Boris Kulikov

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Summary:  Louis Braille tells the story of his life, beginning with his early childhood, a bright, curious boy growing up in a loving family.  At a young age, he injured his eye with one of his father’s leatherworking tools.  The eye got an infection that spread to the other eye, and he became blind.  Fortunately, his family continued to support and educate him, eventually sending him to the Royal School for the Blind in Paris when he was 10.  Louis loved to learn, and his most fervent wish was to read.  But books at his school were rare, and they only had a few words on each page.  One day, his teacher told the class about a military code that could be read by touch.  Inspired, Louis decided to come up with his own code.  After a few years of hard work, he was ready to demonstrate his invention to the school’s headmaster.  The man read Louis a page from a book, while Louis copied it down, then read it back to him.  He had created the Braille alphabet, still used today to allow blind people to read and write.  The final pages include an author’s note about how she came to write the book, questions and answers about Louis Braille and his invention, and additional resources about both.  The Braille alphabet appears on both the front and back endpapers.  40 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  The inspiring story of Louis Braille is told in his own voice in a way that is accessible for young readers.

Cons:  The way Louis loses his eyesight is horrible.

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