As a child I loved a book that my family had about The Seeing Eye in New Jersey, and about a blind person who went there and was paired up with an incredible team-mate. I always found the story fascinating.
When I saw the book Blind Martha by Velina Showalter, with a seeing eye dog pictured on the cover, I was drawn to read another story about blindness, and how a brave spirit and a faithful doggy friend could triumph over seemingly debilitating circumstances.
Set among the Old Order Mennonites in Lancaster Pennsylvania, this story introduces a child to the struggles of a vision-impaired girl, blindness, seeing eye dogs, how much a person’s attitude really does define their circumstances, and ultimately how God can send Light into darkness.
- Title: Blind Martha
- Author: Velina Showalter
- Publisher: TGS International
- Genre: Children’s Picture Book
- Number of Pages: 47
- Theme: Living fully and praising God despite physical limitations
- Age Range: 6-8
- Source: TGS, Amazon
Martha has a rare eye disease that causes her to become blind in her late 20s. Martha’s desire is to live a normal life—she loves the beauty of the sky and grass and flowers—but she also wants to accept God’s will—even if that means being blind.
This is the story of Martha’s life. Of how she accepted her limitations, while pushing herself to achieve the utmost that she could despite them . . . And of how she was still able to see the Light of the World, even when the light of this earth was taken away from her.
SAW Rating System
We have recently altered our reviewing system using the model of our poetry grading worksheet. For an explanation of the new system, see our introductory post.
Coverage of Topic—7/10
Quality of Writing—5/10
Impact of the book—6/10
Innocence regarding evil—7/10
Active promotion of good—6/10
Level of spiritual challenge—7/10
Healthy view of life—8/10
Items of Note
Romance and morality
As a two-year-old Martha is diagnosed with a rare eye disease and is scared to know what the doctor is talking about. Eventually Martha becomes completely blind.
After a minor bike accident her knees are described as “torn and bleeding.”
Alcohol and drug use (includes tobacco)
The spiritual focus of this story is not denominationally influenced; however, some cultural practices of the Old Order Mennonites are woven into the story.
Family roles and behavior
As a twelve-year-old, Martha uses a sewing machine after her mother tells her she can’t see well enough to use one; instead of addressing this, when her mother finds out she is just excited to find that her vision-impaired daughter can still sew.
Mature subject matter
Reading Blind Martha
As you share this story with your child, younger sibling, or simply read through it for yourself, drink in God’s power to create and also to sustain when He withdraws the abilities that He created—and find yourself and your little ones challenged to face the difficulties of life with a courageous and heaven-pointed focus.
Whatever you face, God will never fail you!
For another story that shows God’s power in unchangeable circumstances check out our review of Seventeen-Ounce Miracle:
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