MY HEART GLOW by Emily Arnold McCully


Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet and the Birth of American Sign Language
Age Range: 6 - 9
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In 1814, young Alice Cogswell captivated her next-door neighbor, Thomas Gallaudet, with her intelligence and spirit, although the child could neither hear nor speak. He taught her letters, words and reading and then traveled to Europe to study other ways of teaching deaf children. Gallaudet brought Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher from France, to Connecticut, and together they founded what is now known as the American School for the Deaf, where Alice was the first pupil. McCully’s supple ink-and-watercolor illustrations render interiors, landscape and human emotion with deft precision. She is, as well, both graceful and informative in the text, shaping complicated information into clear and resonant language. Excerpts from Alice’s letters to Gallaudet are not only charming but heartbreaking, as she navigates both the language and the distance between them. Unfortunately, too much dialogue is unsourced, particularly that directed at Alice, leaving important questions unanswered; the text does not address the difficulty of communicating complex concepts in writing or pantomime to a deaf child in the absence of a signed language. (author’s note, biblography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0028-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2008


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