Follow My Leader

Follow My LeaderFollow My Leader by James B. Garfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember checking this book out at the library time and time again, until the day it went missing and I couldn’t check it out again, then began my search for it for my own collection. Went to my local book shop and placed my order, but at that point in time it wasn’t in publication and no word for when it would be. A year or so later the book shop managed to track down a copy it was in close to mint condition as I could hope for.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book, but I do know that it is responsible for me getting into working with the handicap and my interest in working with the blind and why I learned to read brail and learned sign language because this book lead to other books of a similar nature that just sparked something within me.

The book is a tail of a young man (a boy) who louses his sight though the misadventures of youth (one I’ve seen a few time in the area of town I live in around the victoria day long weekend) playing with items which are meant for adults and not children and waking up alive with with ones life changed for life. The child goes though a lot of ups and downs within the book, from learning to cope with his lack of sight to finding Sirius (who he later names Leader) who becomes his eyes.

I loved the fact that the book has printed brail within it, might not be the raised style but just being able to see the stuff caught my attention at such a young age to actually seek out the Canadian National Institute For the Blind (CNIB) and get all the material I could on learning to read brail. The tail of how he goes about getting “Leader” lead me to working with guide dogs myself at a younger age (and as an adult being willing to be a foster parent to future service dogs).

Mr. Garfield weaves a good tail that to me was enough to excite a young mind into the wonders of reading and to another world outside of the sighted that I already knew about. He opens up a world that others might know nothing about, which makes me think that he himself is either blind or has experience with the blind because he captures the world very well.

I would recommend this book to all school age children to read, and to many adults as well. It might not be much or long, but the base story within is well worth taking to heart and reflecting upon.

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