Abby Diamond: The Power of a Fictional Character Who Is Blind

Testimonials from teachers and students with visual impairments on the power of a fictional character who is blind and her strength as a role model

Abby Diamond is in the fifth grade and can smell a mystery miles away. Abby and her best friends solve mysteries at home and at school. While Abby is blind, this girl detective does not let anything or anyone slow her down from obtaining her dreams, helping others and making the world a better place. 
The Adventures of Abby Diamond has been so popular with students, both blind and sighted, that author Kristie Smith has been asked to continue creating story after story with Abby and her best friends: 
Neils – a redhead tomboy who loves a great mystery
Alison – a young beauty who was abandoned by her famous movie star mother
Andrea – dark-skinned and gorgeous- Andrea is also the brains of the group
Jaxson – in spite of being a hillbilly redneck, Jaxson has a good heart and charms the reader with his “tough guy” attitude
Glen – Jaxson’s clone – Glen repeats and will do anything Jaxson says- unknown to Glen, he is the school dork
Since Abby is based on an amazing student in Mesquite, Texas, Libby Daugherty, the mysteries and ideas have produced five books in the series with number 6 on the way. 
  • “Out of Sight”- book 1
  • “Secrets in the Attic”- book 2
  • “Diamond in the Rough”- book 3
  • “Timeless Adventures” – book 4
  • “Arrested!”- book 5


Students who are blind or visually impaired often lack role models of characters in books who are blind or visually impaired.  Abby Diamond is changing all that!  Read what students say about Abby:

Libby Daugherty – (The real Abby Diamond) age 10 now age 16
“I am proud to be a part of The Adventures of Abby Diamond series because Abby is smart, funny and no victim to her disability.  There are times when others think people who are blind have other issues which they do not.  Abby shows the reader that carrying a cane, reading and writing in Braille and using technology for the blind is who she is and she is proud of it. Neither Abby Diamond nor I are ashamed to be blind as we can do anything we put our minds to every day.”
“Get ready, world- Abby and I have just begun!” – Libby 
Kenzi Caldwell – age 9 now age 13
“When I was in the 5th grade, Kristie Smith came out to our school, Pirrung Elementary, in Mesquite, Texas. She read to us, ‘The Adventures of Abby Diamond’, and I was hooked. While Abby is really funny, Jaxson is hysterical and so are the others in the series.  I like that the same characters are in all 5 books.  
Abby teaches everyone that we are all the same in so many ways and how we should appreciate differences in others. The Adventures of Abby Diamond became one of my favorite books and I love the fact she likes to read Braille and is not ashamed to use her cane and be different.”
Lisa Gray – Vision Teacher in Dallas Independent School District
“My fifth grade student, Alexis, would only read Braille if it were an Abby Diamond story.  She was so hesitant to use her cane, voice output system and other equipment until she read The Adventures of Abby Diamond. Alexis told me one day she would start using her cane because Abby was not afraid to show the world who she was and being different was okay. She would laugh hysterically anytime Jaxson, Abby’s friend, entered into the story. He is a funny hillbilly who isn’t as tough as he seems. Abby Diamond creates a character all children can relate to but especially the ones with a disability. The stories are not about the disability but about Abby, her four best friends and how she and her gang overcome many obstacles.”

abby diamond's timeless adventures

Annabel – 05 
“We are hooked on Abby Diamond and look forward to reading more of her adventures! My 9 year old fell in love with this book from the very beginning. She thinks it should be made into a television series for children! My daughter and I read this book together and one of the things I loved most about it was that it gave us the opportunity to peek into the world of the visually impaired. This book helped facilitate important discussions, such as how to be considerate of others with disabilities and how to handle bullying. I hope other children and families will read Abby Diamond because it teaches us all how to be sensitive to others with special needs. It also highlights that, in the grand scheme, those with disabilities are no different than everyone else.”
East Bay Center for the Blind – Young Blind Detective Novels
“Kristie Smith is a teacher for the visually impaired and an author. She has written three novels in the Adventures of Abby Diamond series. Abby is a detective who happens to be blind. The books are written for children ages 8-13. These books are available through Bookshare, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Kristie also writes a weekly blog for the Dallas Morning News, which focuses mainly on people with a visual impairment who lead productive, active lives.”
Paths to Literacy
“Finally, it is helpful to have positive role models, such as characters who have visual impairments or even who just wear glasses. Ideally the disability would be incidental and not necessarily the focus of the story, so that child characters who happen to be blind, find exciting adventures or a character with low vision, creates wonderful inventions.”
Teacher in Classroom of Students with Dyslexia:
“First of all, they loved the stories. They would come in every day and beg for me to read them a chapter, and then beg for more! If I forgot or we got busy, they would be very disappointed…that doesn’t happen very often!  Kids asking to read a book….love it!  They enjoyed the characters, especially Jaxson. They enjoyed the mystery…wanted to figure out ‘who done it’.”

Adventures of Abby Diamond:  Out of Sight is available in braille from Seedlings.


Collage of Abby Diamond