One of my favorite book awards is the Schneider Family Book Award, which honors an author or illustrator that creates an expression of the disability experience. This year's winner for young children was the picture book, Six Dots. It is the story of Louis Braille, the inventor of the Braille alphabet which enabled blind people to read. Reading this nonfiction book busted some myths I had erroneously believed: 1) Louis Braille was not born blind. His blindness was caused by an accident that happened to him at age 5. 2) Louis Braille did not invent his alphabet as an adult. He was actually only 15 years old. 3) Braille is not a super complex series of raised dots. Instead, it is a simple code of just 6 raised dots arranged in 2 columns like a domino.
The story is well illustrated, and I especially enjoyed studying the Braille alphabet provided on its cover pages. Reading about the childhood of Louis Braille makes the already amazing invention story even more interesting for students.
I recommend this book to students of all ages who enjoy reading biographies or about the subject of inventions.