Sunday, April 26, 2009

Follow My Leader

Follow My Leader

by James B. Garfield (1957)

This is a read-aloud book for my 3rd grade class, but I brought it home to read ahead so I wasn't surprised by anything. I'm normally biased against books published more than a few decades back, and the Eddie Haskell dialogue had me involuntarily rolling my eyes ("Golly, guys, dry up, would ya?") but it turns out to be a worthwhile read.

The hero's name is Jimmy Carter and he's the class president -- how weird is that? --before being blinded in a firecracker accident. He needs to learn Braille and how to work with a guide dog, as well as forgive the boy who caused the accident and prove to the fellows he can still be a good Scout. A lot of opportunities for additional learning: empathy for the blind, of course, and Braille, guide dogs, constellations, bats and radar, and telling time without gasp! a digital clock.

So what is the acceptable/preferred "label" these days, what do I file and tag this as? Handicap, disability, challenged... ???


Nicola said...

What a coincidence! My husband just finished reading this to our youngest son (8yo) as a bedtime story. He loved it! This book is a favourite of mine. I read it to my oldest son when he was 8 or 9 (he's 20 now!) and he loved it too! Boys that age are fascinated with learning all the things that suddenly going blind would mean to them. I'm proudly non-politically correct, so can't help you with the question.

Anonymous said...

Don't be biased against older books. Have you tried Freddy the Pig (series). It's hilarious.