Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read.
Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him.
And so he invented his own alphabet—a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.
Award-winning writer Jen Bryant tells Braille’s inspiring story with a lively and accessible text, filled with the sounds, the smells, and the touch of Louis’s world. Boris Kulikov’s inspired paintings help readers to understand what Louis lost, and what he was determined to gain back through books.
An author’s note and additional resources at the end of the book complement the simple story and offer more information for parents and teachers.
About the Author
Jen Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her biographical picture book: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse Ringside 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up.
Other titles include Pieces of Georgia (IRA Young Adult Choices Pick), The Trial (about the 1935 Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial), a 1960's-era novel Kaleidoscope Eyes (a Jr. Library Guild selection), Georgia's Bones, celebrating the creative vision of artist Georgia O'Keeffe, Music for the End of Time, based on a true story about WWII, and Abe's Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln.
Jen has taught writing and Children's Literature at West Chester University and Bryn Mawr College and gives lectures, workshops and school presentations throughout the year. She lives with her family in Chester County, PA.
"An inspiring look at a child inventor whose drive and intelligence changed to world--for the blind and sighted alike." --Kirkus Reviews
"Although many Braille biographies stress his disability, Bryant's title subtly emphasizes his creativity and celebrates him as an inventor, making this an excellent addition for STEM collections. Illustrations in Kulikov's signature style, light-hearted with a touch of tartness, deftly toggle between sun-washed scenes in which the world views Louis and blackened scenes in which Louis recreates the world he sees in his mind."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Bryant's sensitive first-person narration draws readers intimately close to Braille's experiences, and an author's note and q&a add further depth to a stirring portrait of innovation and determination." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The focus on Braille as one of the world's great inventors is apt, and by taking a close look at his childhood, his family, and his experiences as a young person, Bryant makes Braille's story even more powerful." --School Library Journal, starred review
"Bryant's portrayal captures Louis's intelligence, determination, and tenacious desire for access to the written word. As Bryant states, "The name Braille deserves to be on everyone's list of great inventors," and this book ably demonstrates why."--The Horn Book Magazine
"Readers will be floored by the sheer tenacity of Louis Braille." -- Shelf Awareness