Michael Hingson has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t keep him from doing most things. As a child, he explored the neighborhood and even rode a bike down the street. Although the school system recommended specialized education, he attended regular schools all the way from kindergarten through high school. Michael learned Braille, used a white cane, and had a seeing-eye dog, but did not consider himself to be handicapped. He attended college, married, and got a job on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center in the north tower.
Michael and his guide dog Roselle were in the office on September 11, 2001 when terrorists flew airplanes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers. With the building on fire and ready to collapse, Michael and Roselle headed for the stairwell, along with hundreds of others. The book toggles back and forth between escaping the burning building, and describing Michael’s unusual childhood.
I enjoyed reading about Michael’s childhood. I admired his parents for refusing to let their son feel any different from the other kids. Their attitude rubbed off on Michael, and he was able to find ways to do things without having sight. The book also showed how invaluable guide dogs are in helping those who are blind live a normal life. The story of the terrorist attack on September 11th is a sad one, but Michael and Roselle’s story brings light to a dark day.