Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer

She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer
by Sally Hobart Alexander and Robert Alexander
Clarion Books
100 pages

When she was just two years old, Laura Bridgman lost her sight, her hearing, and most of her senses of smell and taste. But then a progressive doctor, who had just opened the country's first school for the blind in Boston, took her in. Laura learned to communicate, read, and write -- and eventually even to teach.


Kris said...

What an interesting person! I most enjoyed the photos in this book, and the descriptions of Laura's personality -- her inquisitveness, her sense of humor, and her determination to learn and communicate in spite of her disabilities. Distinguished? Hmmm. I'd say not, but still a solid biography, well-written, with a good bibliography, index, and source notes.

Teresa said...

I agree with Kris. This is a solid biography of an interesting person. We'll see how well I remember it as compared to the others on our list come January.

Anonymous said...

It is a strong biography, but it seems a little graphic at some points for kids, and a little dry at others. Children who pick it up for the pictures would not necessarily understand the text... not that that's so bad, though. The historical facts about her era were numerous and useful, as well as the pictures of Laura and of artifacts.

Lyndi said...

This is a fascinating biography. For a woman who was born such a bright child to lose so many of her senses, but to learn to use her "think" in such a powerful way is a compelling story indeed. The book follows her from her birth and promising childhood through her episode of scarlet fever that robbed her of her sight and hearing, and continues through the vastness of her curiosity.

This book is full of surprising, interesting facts. I hadn't been aware that sign language was banned in the US in the 1880s because it was considered barbaric. I think there's a lot for children to gain from reading this book or having it read to them. It would probably be most effective as a read-together book because of the way it's written.

Anonymous said...

I thought this book was very interesting! I had never heard of Laura before, so her story was entirely new to me. I thought it contained a lot of details that would be especially interesting to younger children. This book is a well-written, very informative biography. It would be a great asset in a classroom as part of a social studies unit. However, if the students were going to read it themselves, it would need to be used with an upper elementary grade level.

Jana said...

This is a very detailed yet interesting book about Laura. I am surprised that she has not gained more attention than Helen Keller. I found some of the photos to be interesting too.
The upper elementary students would probably get more out of this book than than the primary students. It would be great for doing a lesson on biographies with upper elementary students.