Overcoming Barriers

Overcoming Barriers series by Deborah Kent

These new books in the Overcoming Barriers series focus on blindness, deafness, Braille, and sign language at a down-to-earth, personal level. Each book begins with a glimpse into the life of a real-life child today before branching out into other more general topics. The series' tone is consistently upbeat, though not falsely cheery. In What Is It like to Be Blind?, she uses the stories of several children to highlight the range of abilities possessed by blind people, as well as the challenges they face. In What Is Braille?, Kent discusses the history of Braille's invention and development, as well as describing modern-day users. She also includes an alphabet chart for reference.  In What Is It like to Be Deaf?, Kent covers topics such as the causes of deafness, the use of sight and other senses, and the ways deaf children and adults overcome challenges and use their talents. In What Is Sign Language?, the author emphasizes ASL as a language, including its grammar and a number of sample words, as well as its history and current use. Besides the main text, sidebars add tidbits on a greater variety of subjects. Photos on most pages provide an adequate if not sparkling illustration of the text.--Aronin, Miriam Copyright 2010 Booklist