“Six Dots”

When asked who were the great inventors in the history of the world, most of us would say Gutenberg, Edison, Bell, Da Vinci.  How many of us would add the name Louis Braille to that list.  In a new book written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov, the author gives the reader ample reasons to include Braille as one of the world’s greatest inventors.

Written in the first person,  Braille tells his life’s story.  As a young boy, he injured himself in his father’s workshop.  The infection caused by the accident spread to his second eye, and soon he was completely blind.

Efforts by his family to aid him to cope with his blindness helped, but Louis’s quest to learn was not satisfied. Eventually, he was able to attend the Royal School for the Blind in Paris.  At the school there were books for the blind, but the raised letters on the page were huge.  One sentence would take up an entire page.  Louis dreamed of a simpler system.  Eventually, using a fingertip code used on battlefields, he simplified it to six dots.  So at the age of 15, Louis Braille invented a system of reading and writing for the blind that is still used today.

9780449813379_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg“Six Dots” is an informative, well-written biography of someone whose life story is not as well known as the system he invented.  The mixed media illustrations help the reader to visualize the settings and people in this story. Pictured inside the front and back covers is the Braille alphabet. The author also includes additional information about Braille and a bibliography and websites where readers can go to learn more about this famous inventor.


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