I discovered the book Squint when our school librarian scheduled the author Shelly Brown for a visit with our a 4th and 5th grade students. I was tickled that the book happens to feature a main character that has Keratoconus, a progressive visual condition. Flint is in a race against the clock to enter a comic book competition before he loses his vision. The story is about friendship, believing in yourself, and seeing the best in others despite our outside differences.
I could not wait to get my hands on this book and see what my learners thought about it. It ended up being an awesome conversation starter, a neat experience for them to have visual impairments normalized through a strong main character in a great book, and a way to sneak in some fun literacy and technology skills.
- I embossed the book for a braille reader, downloaded it in the Read2Go app for another, and sent an Epub file for another to read using the Dolphin Easy Reader app at home. (Book is appropriate for about 4th-7th graders.)
- Learners had about a month to read the book on their own time.
- Individually, I worked with the learners to create short book reviews using the Clips app on their iPads.
- As a group, we had a “book club discussion” about our thoughts on the book and shared our book reviews with each other.
Book Club Discussion Questions
- Who was your favorite character and why?
- Do you ever get nervous like Flint when meeting new people if you can’t see their facial expressions?
- Is there any part of the story you would change if you could and why?
- Do you ever get teased or see people getting teased because they are different? How does that make you feel?
Our school was lucky to have Shelly Brown visit and share her inspiration for Squint and her message about “Seeing the Awesome in Others.” The experience was a perfect way to hit so many ECC areas in a fun an educational way.
Student Video Review of “Squint”
This is one of the reviews created by a student who has albinism and is in the 5th grade. He created the review using the Clips app on an iPad.