When Eddie is labelled a “learning cripple” his family, friends and teacher look at him differently. But when he makes the acquaintance of local legend Alexander Graham Bell he is challenged to see things—and himself—in a new light. Then Mr. Bell introduces him to Helen Keller, and Eddie becomes determined that, like her, he won’t let anything stop him from learning. Ultimately, Eddie and those around him come to see that there are many types of intelligence, and his quick thinking and genius for problem-solving prove to be the difference between life and death.
Roy’s depictions of Alexander Graham Bell and Helen Keller provide unique glimpses into the personalities of these historical figures. Eddie’s difficulties with reading and writing, and the way they affect his perception of himself, is portrayed sensitively and realistically. Despite the historical context, readers will empathize with his struggles and be inspired by his quiet determination. The repeated exhortation to “celebrate your successes” will still resonate today. A lovely look at an earlier time, this book is a success worth celebrating.
Me & Mr. Bell
by Philip Roy
$11.95, paperback 142 pp.
CBU Press, October 2013