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Do You Remember the Color Blue?: The Questions Children Ask About Blindness Hardcover – March 1, 2000

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-As she has done in past books, Alexander makes blindness clear to readers. Here, she responds to frequently asked questions, including how it feels to be blind and how blind people cope with daily living. She tells how she lost her sight and recounts the fears she experienced at the time. Readers learn how she gets around and how she writes. The author briefly describes the tools she uses, from talking books to machines that transpose the written word into vibrations to be read with the fingers. She spends some time discussing problems related to dating, how she met her husband, and how she was able to raise two children. Her discussion of remembering colors and dimensions will interest sighted readers. Small black-and-white photos appear throughout; most are snapshots from the personal collections of the author and her friends. A list of organizations for additional information is included.
Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Sally Hobart Alexander lost her sight to disease at the age of 26. A writer, she also speaks to groups, and especially to young people, about her blindness. One of her goals is to help her audience feel comfortable around disabled people by being respectfully curious. After acknowledging that not everyone is willing to share experiences, she responds to some of the fairly personal questions children and teens have asked her. Her answers reveal what daily life is like for a blind person: how she tells time, dresses and grooms herself (and why she wears sunglasses), works with her guide dog, reads, and writes. She also discusses how she raised two sighted children, how others react to her disability, and how much she remembers of the visual world. Tools for the blind are illustrated, and family photos reveal Sally leading a full and happy life with family and friends. Several activities that illustrate everyday problems encountered by the blind are included, as is a list of organizations. A concluding note by a physician briefly (and reassuringly) discusses Sally's personal experience of going blind and her degrees of vision loss. The information is less objective than students may need for reports; however, this book is sure to interest young people curious about how the blind interact with their world. Catherine Andronik

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 6
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670880434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670880430
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
You know that you're not supposed to be nosey and ask questions about someone's disability. But Sally Hobart Alexander, the author of this book, travels around the country giving talks to people about her experience with her blindness. She invites, and receives, a lot of questions from children and teens, and in this book she tries to answer some of them. In some respects, it is a very satisfying book, because it calls attention to the millions of little details of ordinary life that usually require eyesight. How do you know what's in the refrigerator? How do you know what clothes match? Many of us don't consider that you need to face the person you are talking to, or where to extend our hands for a handshake. Because Alexander was not born blind (she lost her sight gradually over two years, when she was in her twenties), she is aware of all of the differences, and she is generous in sharing her experiences. But this is not just a book about the details of living without sight. This book also shares some of the emotional experience of losing vision--the frustration, disappointment, and anger Alexander had to work through. And then the positive feelings of triumph, as she learned that happiness and success do not depend on the ability to see with your eyes. Basically an upbeat, interesting story, I found the writing a little weak. But I would recommend this book strongly for anyone who is struggling with any kind of disability, or anyone who is simply curious about blindness, because it is truly inspirational and frank.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Sarfati on May 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Kids sure ask better questions than adults a lot of the time! Good thing that Mrs Alexander is prepared to answer them in an informative way.
She explains how she lost her sight completely in her mid twenties because of a mysterious disease causing blood vessels in her retinas to bleed. Sally doesn't gloss over the grieving she went through and the difficulties she faced, and the need for constant concentration even now. But the book has an optimistic tone, explaining how she met her husband on a blind date (she notes with irony), and how her life as a wife, mother, writer and even gardener is very fulfilling.
There are interesting insights how blind people function in a sighted world, e.g. accessing information through Braille, talking books or the Optacon (optical-tactile converter), travelling with a cane or guide dogs, cooking, choosing clothes, and much else. She even discusses her visit to a school for deaf kids and whether it's better to be blind or deaf, and the effect of blindness on her religious faith (increasing it) and that of her loved ones (the opposite effect).
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Smith on October 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Author Sally Hobart Alexander does remember the color blue because she lost her sight completely at age 26. In this book, she answers 13 questions children have asked her about going blind. Alexander's honesty and wit discussing how she met her husband, ways her two sighted children played tricks on her and how she handles day to day activities, allows the reader to understand how a blind person lives a happy, fulfilling life. A good choice for a 4th or 5th grader. Included in this book is an activity, "What does it feel like to be blind?" also a note about blindness, a list of resources and an index. The black and white photographs of Alexander, her family and innovative gadgets are set on black, white or gray backgrounds.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sally Alexander is my hero as she writes so well about blindness, still she does not find it a handicap. She shares the realities of losing one sense while gaining friends and readers wherever she visits. Her writing helps me with mine. I recommend everything she produces for she shares her knowledge with a great sense of humor and humanness.
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