Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan: The Perkins School for the Blind 1932 (Dear America Series)

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Overview

Blinded after a terrible accident, Bess must learn to overcome her disability with the help of new friends and skills at the Perkins School for the Blind, in the wake of America's Great Depression.

After Bess Brennan is blinded in a sledding accident, she must face a frightening, much-altered world. Confronted with a new set of obstacles, Bess manages to overcome her disability with the help of her new friends at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, ...

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Overview

Blinded after a terrible accident, Bess must learn to overcome her disability with the help of new friends and skills at the Perkins School for the Blind, in the wake of America's Great Depression.

After Bess Brennan is blinded in a sledding accident, she must face a frightening, much-altered world. Confronted with a new set of obstacles, Bess manages to overcome her disability with the help of her new friends at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, where she also learns how to read braille. Her twin sister, Elin, assists her with recording daily events in her diary and contributes entries of her own. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Bess's story will inspire all readers to be strong in the face of hardship.

In 1932, a twelve-year-old girl who lost her sight in an accident keeps a diary, recorded by her twin sister, in which she describes life at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-After Bess loses her eyesight in a sledding accident, she enters the Perkins School for the Blind. At first she fights against learning, especially braille, but gradually she adjusts to the school and her condition. Readers learn a great deal about how people compensate for vision loss, such as arranging food on a plate by the hours of the clock and placing their finger over a cup when pouring a liquid so that the fluid does not overflow. The information is well presented, as are Bess's feelings when people talk about her as if she were not there. However, the voice of the narrator is not always that of a 12-year-old, even in the 1930s. "My sorrow is unfathomable" is not a typical expression. It is also hard to believe that Bess would be able to remember the detail she includes in her diary, which she dictates to her sister when she returns home on the weekends. The book briefly alludes to the economic problems of the day and other news items, such as the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. Qualms aside, Bess's story should hold the interest of readers.-Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439194464
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Dear America Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    Okay

    This book was good but it was kind of slow. once it got started though, it was really good and reminded me of Mary Ingalls on the Little House On the Prairie shows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    Bess is staying at a blind school after a terrible accident. This is bess's chance to step up like Helen Keller. Her sister had her helpless for now. She had gotten priveleges like the 'seeing' U.S.A. people. Bess had discovered her true talent. Bess had lived like a real person. Bess had accomplished her success that she wanted. Bess is known as a heroine in her book and other people book. She was encouraging death, blind, handicapped, and all the above people. They wanted this to affect more people by knowing her work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2006

    Read this book but be prepared to cry

    It was a good book, but I felt like crying. anyway, Bess really did a good job coping through the many hardships that she faced. Anyway, the book is about Bess Brennan who must face the many hardships of being blind , like reading Braille and sort of echolation.Bess gets through the academy with the help of her two friends, Eva and Amanda. Bess's twin sister Elin helps her by recording Bess's diary entries and adding a few of her own. Poor Elin is heartbroken,because now they cannot play their favourite game,''mirror, mirror on the wall''. This book is very sad butI loved it all the same. Also you might want to look up on Helen Keller, who was deaf AND blind before she could even speak! Helen attended Perkins academy.So to all dear america lovers, READ THIS BOOK BUT BE PREPARED TO CRY!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    Great Book!

    I think this book is a fascinating book. Though many of these books are telling about history, this tells some history, but more of how Bess Brennan survives to be blind after seeing for 11 years. I cannot experience being blind for even a second. I think this author actually had to be blind to know how this feels. While I was reading this book, I was wondering if the author was blind, because I couldn't imagine a eyesight person can tell how a blind person feels. My favorite quote in this book is when Bess writes in her diary, ' I wish i can take of this blindfols, but there is no blindfold...' That particluar sentence make me think how I would feel if I was blind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    Great Historical Novel

    This touching, historical story was both sad and joyful at the same time. Much like life, it gave you the idea of a homesick, adorable child who lost her fortune sight. The love and pain in this book was so amazing that my family and I nearly cried. We all loved the book, that brought me all of education, entertainment and delight. This book can fill your mind with greater curiousity than ever before. The book makes a fantastic story that gives you a perfect picture of the time period this struggling little girl is in. She has a wonderful character, great personality, and a marveleous story to top it of. I might not have loved to read, but this story made me love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2004

    This book is a treasure

    Here is the diary of a blind girl, Bess. She decribes her time at the Perkins School for the Blind where she is educated. Everything in this book is great-it made me get more interested in Perkins. It's really amazing. You might also learn that being blind isn't the end of the world, too. There's always hope for the blind! Read this book!! Best wishes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2003

    Good Book

    This was a really good book. I really enjoyed reading it. probably one of the best books in the series, which is saying a lot because I've been reading these books for 6 years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

    This book is almost one of my favorite books. It is about a blind girl who has her sister write in her diary for her. The plot of the story is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2002

    11 year old reader from N.C says I learned a lot about a blind girls life at Perkins School for the blind

    While hitting a tree sleding down a hill 12 year old Bess is immediatly rushed to the hospital an her vision is like a curtian being closed until she's blind. She thinks about things she will never see again. Then she remembers she can't write in her diary anymore which she has recorded every day since she was 7. Then Elin ( bess's twin sister) asks Bess if she would Like her to record her diary so Bess tells Elin her secrets and Elin writes them down. Then Bess goes to the Perkins School for the blind where she meets many friens( her best friends are Amanda and Eva) she learns to read and write braile, is on the gymnastics team, She studies geography, science,Enlish and drama( they do a play which is a book Denenberg wrote himself "When will this cruel war be over?").In the end Bess acomplished many things she thought she never could and plus it took place during the stock market crash in the 1930's so Bess's hope was even lower but she does it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2008

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    Posted January 11, 2010

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    Posted August 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

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