A biography of the founder of the first school for the deaf in the United States who, among other accomplishments, evolved a new sign language and wrote children's books.
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Grade 3-5?In a straightforward, approachable format, Bowen presents the life of Thomas Gallaudet and his impact on education for the Deaf. Considering the myriad factors that intersected his life?the development of American Sign Language, cultural misconceptions about the Deaf, and the politics of Deaf education, to mention a few?the survey is evenhanded and reasonably thorough. The somewhat prescribed format of series biographies and the age of the target audience preclude an in-depth examination of some complex or troubling areas of Deaf history, but to her credit, Bowen does manage to handle some of these areas. She briefly mentions some of the bizarre and frequently painful medical approaches to Deafness during Gallaudet's time, and touches upon misnomers such as "Deaf and Dumb," or Deaf-Mute. The author clearly captures her subject's respected status in the Deaf community as well as his earnest, likable personality. Unfortunately, Wadsworth's illustrations of people signing feature frozen, meaningless gestures. The effect is somewhat jarring, as is a reference to an appended chart of the ASL alphabet as "finger signing" when it is more commonly referred to as fingerspelling. Despite these details, Bowen's offering is a solid contribution to the subject and a readable introduction to Gallaudet's life.?Jennifer Fleming, Boston Public Library
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-5. Having been short, unhealthy, and left out as a child, Thomas Gallaudet empathized with young Alice Cogswell, who was destined to live a life of lonely isolation, unable to communicate. Fortunately for Alice and all deaf persons, Gallaudet stumbled on sign language, a way of "knowing and knowing" that allows deaf individuals to "speak" both to each other and to the hearing. This Creative Minds series biography, with pen-and-ink illustrations, offers an easy-to-read, interesting, and contemporary account of the life of the man for whom Gallaudet University is named. For collections needing early chapter book biographies of famous people. Frances Bradburn
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Book Description San Val, 1995. School & Library Binding. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0613684850