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My Heart Glow: Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet, and the Birth of American Sign Language

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Alice Cogswell was a bright and curious child and a quick learner. She also couldn't hear. And, unfortunately, in the early nineteenth century in America, there was no way to teach deaf children. One day, though, an equally curious young man named Thomas Gallaudet, Alice's neighbor, senses Alice's intelligence and agrees to find a way to teach her. Gallaudet's interest in ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Hyperion
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Oct 14, 2014 Ewa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Alice, a very bright girl who wants to be as any other nine-year-old thought of herself as “not good heart” because she “hear not”. Her childhood is the world of silence where nobody can “see in” to understand her feelings and emotions. Everything changes when she meets Thomas Gallaudet. To save her from the silence, he sets himself on a long voyage to make her “heart glow” for the first time in her life.
The story of developing American Sign Language is wonderfully narrated by Emily Arnold McCu
Errin Tucker
Apr 12, 2012 Errin Tucker rated it liked it
I gave this story 3 stars because although it was very informative it seemed too be lengthy to get to the main part of the story. It is considered under the genre of Memoirs.

This story basically teaches about how American sign language began.

I thought this was a good story overall because it showed the reader how sign language was brought into America. Many people are unaware of how American sign language began. So this was a very informative story. Many children and people in general can learn
Nevada Libert
Aug 11, 2014 Nevada Libert rated it really liked it
great book. i love how she inspired people to make a school for the deaf and dumb. i love how eager she was to learn and never gave up.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd never heard of this girl unitl I read this book. I wonder if she really wore her hair short like that, instead of long and swept up like her sisters? The book describes how Gallaudet went to France to learn more about how to teach Alice, and ended up bringing a deaf French teacher back to America with him and founding the school that became Gallaudet University. I would love to read more about Alice's life. Highly recommended, especially to deaf readers!
Amy Edwards
Good picture book to introduce Thomas Gallaudet's life to kids in one sitting. It gives a fair presentation of Gallaudet's Christian worldview, although some questions about God's providence in allowing Alice to be deaf (is it punishment by God?) are discussed inadequately. On the other hand, that a children's picture book would fairly wrestle with this conundrum is admirable. Few people realize Gallaudet wrote some timeless books about the Bible and theology that are worth looking up (The Child ...more
Dec 21, 2008 Paige rated it liked it
I have only ever heard stories about Helen Keller. How fascinating to learn about Alice and how sign language came to be taught in the US.
Sep 29, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
A cute book about how Alice Cogswell inspired Gallaudet and Clerc to bring French sign language to America, told from Alice's perspective. Interesting that this book brings up Alice's fears that God has punished her by making her deaf - it kind of gets waved away by her dad saying that she's one of God's favourites.
I liked the depiction of the manual alphabet on the cover - I'm assuming it's what the French sign langage (LSF) manual alphabet looked like back in Alice's day, because it's slightly
Kathy MacMillan
This excellent nonfiction picture book presents what is essentially the “creation story” of Deaf Culture in America. McCully keeps the focus on young Alice, the girl who lost her hearing during a bout of spotted fever at the age of 2, and, by virtue of being the daughter of a wealthy doctor and philanthropist who happened to live next door to minister Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, inspired the advent of deaf education in the United States, and with it, the conditions that spawned American Sign Langu ...more
May 27, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it
Emily Arnold McCully is consistently one of the best picture book authors that I've ever read. She sensitively brings to light a beautiful story in the pages of My Heart Glow, and does it better than anyone could have expected in the brevity of a picture book.

My Heart Glow tells the true story of Alice Cogswell, a deaf American girl living in the early part of the nineteenth century. American Sign Language hasn't yet been invented, and as was the case with so many smart kids from that time who
Salima Hart
Oct 29, 2012 Salima Hart rated it liked it
This book is basically an informative text to show how American Sign Language was created. The story takes place in the 19th Century, when there were no schools for deaf students. The main character, Alice Cogswell, was very smart and had a good relationship with her neighbor Thomas. Thomas noticed how intelligent Alice was but realized that she could not verbally communicate with him. He vowed to find a way for her to communicate. He travels to France and brings back a teacher named Laurent Cle ...more
sweet pea
Nov 03, 2008 sweet pea rated it it was ok
Shelves: les-enfants, herstory
i love so many of McCully's books. i think she has a knack for taking one into the time period in which the book is set. while it was interesting learning about Cogswell & Gallaudet, two personages i hadn't previously known, i didn't find the book terribly compelling. i think perhaps McCully succeeds more with historical characters she creates. the story itself is interesting and needs to be told. so, i can't put my finger on what left me feeling so unimpressed. perhaps because the last page ...more
Nov 24, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
A sad little story about the establishment of the first school for the deaf in the US, it is aimed at younger children and glosses over some important details. It does have an afterword with more information that might satisfy the curiosity roused by this simple story.
Most all people know of Helen Keller. Hardly anyone has ever heard of Alice Cogswell. Along with Alice, other students, Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet, they developed what is now American Sign Language.

AR 4.4
Jan 05, 2009 oplkids rated it really liked it
The true story of how young Alice Cogswell born deaf and mute caused American Sign Language to be introduced in America. Perfect for youngsters in grades 2 - 4.
This picture book presents what is essentially the "creation story" of Deaf Culture in America.
Mar 18, 2013 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Learned a little more tonight... how American Sign Language came to be. Interesting story.
Andrea Labonte
Dec 29, 2014 Andrea Labonte rated it liked it
Shelves: juv
A great way to learn the true beginning to American Sign language. Awesome book.
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Emily Arnold McCully received the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The illustrator of more than 40 books for young readers, she divides her time between Chatham, New York, and New York City.
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