Monday, February 4, 2013

The Little House Books

The New York Times Motherlode blog has an interesting article today here about the blindness of the girl, Mary, in the Little House books.  In the book, her blindness is attributed to scarlet fever, but researchers now think it was probably viral meningoenciphalitis.  That's important because so many children, over the years, became very frightened of having scarlet fever:

You know, what’s so interesting to me is how this shows the power of children’s books.  So many of us read that series and remember being so distressed and frightened at Mary’s blindness.  And I remember so vividly Anne Shirley’s trials and successes growing up (puffed sleeves!), and Betsy and Tacy’s adventures.

Books help teach me to feel empathy for children whose lives were very different from mine.  Are video games and movies doing that today?  I don’t think so.  I wish schools were better at developing a love of reading in children.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more, Mary. And when my kids would rather play or draw, we always turn on an audiobook for them to listen to in the background. At least this keeps them engaged. We found a great site to download them for free. Hope this helps your readers!