In a work of historical fictional, Abigail Carter narrates how she and her younger sister, Sophia, were the first students in the first school for blind children in America. Started by Dr. Samuel Howe, and run at first on a shoestring budget in the home of his reluctant parents, the school became--through Howe's indomitable energy, courage, and diligence--a model environment, proving to sighted people that the blind could be taught to read, write, and to become contributing citizens. Abby is a stalwart main character, whose persistent efforts to learn, as well as to help her timid sister, make her both admirable and human. Dr. Howe is painted in more heroic terms. Hermann focuses more on the politics of establishing the school than on the educational methods used, a choice that provides plenty of suspense. Letters, journals, and other primary and secondary source materials have been spun into a compelling narrative that will capture readers' imaginations, while Ohlsson's black-and-white sketches bring the personalities to the page.