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...Featured Book...

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The Reading Club's Featured Books

Our featured selections are award-winning books that are obtainable in print from libraries and bookstores, and are also available in alternate formats (electronic or braille). Grade levels are approximate.


Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille

By Russell Freedman

1997. Clarion Books

Available in braille or electronic formats from the following sources:

1. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Available in braille and talking book
(202) 707-5100

2. Audible Kids

Louis is an inquisitive 3 year old who uses a leather-working tool in his father's harness shop. The tool slips and he injures his eye and eventually loses vision in both eyes. At the age of 10 he is sent to Paris where he becomes a student at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth. At the time there are only 14 books at the school that the blind students can read. These books are made using embossed letters on sheets of wax paper. Louis learns of a system of raised dots developed by Charles Barbier, called "night writing." Working over a 3-year period, Louis adapts Barbier's "night writing" into his own raised dot system. Louis' code, which enables people who are blind to read and write is not met with enthusiasm. It takes many years for its value to be recognized and the code to be accepted for use in France.

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