Six Dots, A Story of Young Louis Braille
by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Winner of a Schneider Family Book Award!
Children will love young Louis who is bright and eager for life. But then Louis’ world turns dark when he becomes blind. Still eager for life, he learns to walk with a cane, whistle to hear if something is in his path and read letters made of leather, nails or straw. Dominoes, with dots he can feel, becomes a favorite game. Louis wants to learn and is frustrated when he cannot learn to read like everyone else. He finds a way to attend the Royal School for the Blind in Paris. When he finally gets to read, the books are large, clunky and few, for all the letters are raised on the page. About that time a French army captain invented a code that can be read by touch, not by sight. Using a pattern of dots for sounds, Louis learns to read through this method. When Louis was about 12 he decided he could make his own reading system and worked for 3 years, primarily by himself, to create what is now the Braille system. He changed the world, for the blind.
The story is fascinating, the illustrations beautifully show Louis’ excitement, eagerness, and earnestness for learning. An inspiring story with more history about Louis and his Braille system included in the back matter.