Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille

Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille

4.5 12
by Russell Freedman, Kate Kiesler
     
 

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A biography of the modest Frenchman who, after being blinded at the age of three, went on to develop a system of raised dots on paper that enabled blind people to read and write. "An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. . . . An entertaining and fascinating look at a

Overview

A biography of the modest Frenchman who, after being blinded at the age of three, went on to develop a system of raised dots on paper that enabled blind people to read and write. "An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. . . . An entertaining and fascinating look at a remarkable man." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
This is a fascinating and inspirational, but not saccharine, biography of a young man who changed the world for the blind. Newbery-winner Freedman has a deft touch with history, writing it as though it were just any other great story to be told. He uses evocative details to explain the blind child's experience of Paris, such as "the rumble of wheels and clicking of hooves as carriages rolled past on the cobblestone pavement" or "flags flapping in the breeze along the Champs-Elysees...the gay laughter and swish of silk as fashionable ladies strolled by...the rhythmic crunch of a soldier's boots." Kids will be particularly impressed by the students' quiet but unshakable rebellion at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is another superb biography for older readers. In only 80 pages, Louis' story touches our hearts as we discover his many talents: as a musician, as a student with a burning desire to read and write, and as a determined inventor who was convinced that he could devise a system that would enable the blind to read. His kindness and compassion for the boys at the school where he was both a student and later a teacher help us to understand his humanity. Because we see him so vividly, we are saddened by his death at age 43. This reads aloud beautifully.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. Freedman's gift for making his subjects both accessible and intriguing comes through wonderfully in this book. Readers learn not only about Braille and his struggle to communicate through the written word once he lost his sight, but also how long it took for his revolutionary innovation to become universally accepted. They also become aware of how isolated the blind were before his invention. Finely detailed pencil drawings and diagrams appear throughout the readable narrative. An entertaining and fascinating look at a remarkable man.Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL
Kirkus Reviews
This biography from Freedman (The Life and Death of Crazy Horse, 1996, etc.) tells the familiar, moving story of the determination of Louis Braille, who did "more than anyone in history to bring blind people into the mainstream of life."

Blinded at age three by a freak accident, Braille was sent to the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris at the age of ten. His first lessons were in "embossing," where raised impressions were "read" by tracing their outlines with a finger. This slow, cumbersome process was sanctioned by the French government, but a retired artillery captain's speech on sonography—a military code based on dots and dashes punched into strips of cardboard—inspired Braille to develop his own system of dots based on the letters of the alphabet. Readers know the ending, but the somber story of this gifted, generous boy is a compelling one. Rigidly rendered black-and-white illustrations make the setting of the story real; useful diagrams of Braille's alphabet and the slate and stylus used to write are included. With warmth and care, Freedman deftly delineates a life.

From the Publisher

"An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. . . . An entertaining and fascinating look at a remarkable man." School Library Journal, Starred

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395968888
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Edition description:
None
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
499,899
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. . . . An entertaining and fascinating look at a remarkable man." School Library Journal, Starred

Meet the Author

RUSSELL FREEDMAN received the Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City and travels widely to research his books.

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Vermont, Kate Kiesler began painting at an early age. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and now paints and illustrates full-time. Kate paints with oils, and her rich style has been highly praised. Kate Kiesler has illustrated numerous picture books, including THE GREAT FROG RACE AND OTHER POEMS. She lives in Frisco, Colorado.

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Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because when I started reading it I did not know blind people had dificulty to learn. Even teachers did not know how to help the blind students.This book also gave me knowlage about diferent type of systems like embossing and sonography.It is so inspire his positive attitude to open the door of knowlege to all those who cannot see.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Samnala More than 1 year ago
Excellent story and well written - my child read this story and got 150/150 on a school related book report, I believe.
sexypants More than 1 year ago
Inspirational!! Louis Braille was a young blind boy who lived in Paris. His father worked with leather items and Louis wanted to be just like him. But when he tried, a small instrument, which he was working with, glanced off and punctured his eye. His eye became infected and he spread the infection to the other eye. As he got older he wanted to figure out a way to read and write again, so he put forth his efforts and he created a way to do so. He would sit in his dark room for hours and punch little tiny holes in the paper an he would turn the paper around to feel the outpunched holes on the other side. His friends never thought he would be able to do such a thing but he did! A major message that is portrayed in this book is to never give up. If you have an obstacle in your way, you should overcome that obstacle and turn it around and make the best of it. Louis for example, became blind and he overcame it by creating a way to read and write and do other activities. Be made the best out of being blind. I like that this book has an obvious message and that you can point it out easily. If anyone has the chance, they should read this book because its very inspirational and it tells anyone that if they put their mind towards something, then they can do it. It will take time, but it is possible. My over all rating for this book would be excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it so much i read it 5 times it is heart touching and interesting learning about this great mans life who opened the doors of learning to all those who cannot see
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At school I am doing a project on Louis Braille.I love his story,It's so enspiring and VERY heart touching.His story tells about his life.How he felt. WOW.just so ................I dont know so knollageing and positive. What a wonderful person
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved making books for blind
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I'm a Hong Kong people,I think this is the first eng. book that I like to read. his book tells us not to give up. It's very impotant for us in our own life
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a very heart touching story! Everybody should read it!!