Monday, July 28, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: She Touched the World

Alexander, Sally Hobart and Robert Alexander. 2008. She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer.
If you had lived in 1841, the name Laura Bridgman would have echoed through your home, your school, your neighborhood. It would have rung out in the streets of Boston, in the halls of Congress, and across the ocean to England and Europe and beyond. By the time Laura Bridgman was twelve years old, she was that famous.
Like all children, you would have loved and admired her. You would have named your favorite doll after her...and then you would have poked out the doll's eyes.
Did that intro make you as curious as it made me? Laura Bridgman first came to my attention last year. She was mentioned briefly in the oh-so-wonderful-and-amazing Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller. When I saw her name pop up here, I knew I had to read this one and find out more.

Laura Bridgman was not born deaf nor blind. Both were the result of a childhood illness--well, an illness when she was a toddler. This book is the story of how she learned--with much help--to function and communicate in the world. At this time, there was no "help" to be had. No one had ever successfully taught someone who was both deaf and blind to communicate with others. There was no tried-and-true methodology in place. Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, a doctor and an educator, saw great potential in Laura Bridgman. While he had tried and failed in other cases (all adult cases I believe), he was ready to try again this time with a much younger student.

The book is well-written, well-researched, and interesting. The attention to detail amazed me--I certainly wasn't expecting that much from the book. And it truly is a fascinating story.

Sarah Miller's review.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Sarah Miller said...


I love to see this book making friends. :)