The Hickory Chair

by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Other authorsBenny Andrews (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2001



Call number




Arthur A. Levine Books (2001), Edition: First Editiion, 32 pages


A blind boy tells of his warm relationship with his grandmother and the gift she left for him after her death.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lmeek04
I would include this story in my library along with books like The Trumpet of the Swan because they are good examples of specific skills possessed by even those with disabilities. The story does not develop extensively or deeply, but there are continuous undertones of love and caring within Louis'
Show More
family, which is why the hickory chair is of such importance to the boy.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rturba
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Appropriateness: primary
Media: oils and fabric collage
Characterization: Gran is a constant, flat and static character. In the book you know nothing about her except that she is the boys grandmother, and you don't learn anything about her, because she dies in the
Show More
beginning of the book. You learn a little bit more about her life through the development of the other characters, but she remains constant. Even when she is talked about her actions are absolute and very dependable.
Plot: person against nature
Review: This is a great example for realistic fiction, because of its relation to children with impaired sight. You don't realize that the main boy is blind until half way through the book. At the beginning the author makes it seem like the boy is normal and that he can see perfectly, but that he is rather choosing to describe his Gran by the way she smells and sounds. The whole book is held together by this boys descriptions. Therefore it is a very realistic description of what a young child's perceptions of the world would be.
Show Less
LibraryThing member adrianneosmus
The Hickory Chair is a story about a grandmother and her blind grandchild. After the grandmother passed away, she left a note for each of her family members in special places throughout her house. When all other members find their note, everyone thinks Gran forgot Louis. Years later he finds the
Show More
note in her favorite hickory chair.

This book reminds me of my own grandmother. She was special like Gran. When she passed away all the grandkids got to go through and pick one special of hers to have. This is a good book with a good meaning.

You could talk to your students about being blind. You could blind fold each child and make them identify things using only using their sense of smell. You could also talk about family and special things that remind each student about a grandparent.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jrozean0128
The Hickory Chair is a story about the relationship between a blind boy and his grandmother and the grandmother’s favorite chair. The grandmother dies and leaves a will that states that she has left to each family member a note in a certain object. That object would be left to them. The boy
Show More
searches throughout the grandmother’s house and finds several notes and items for other members of his family, but he is unable to find the object that the grandmother had left to him. His mother suggests that the boy just pick out an item. He takes the his grandmother’s favorite chair. The story ends with the boy as a grandfather himself. His granddaughter one day discovers a little note in the chair. The boy, now a grandfather, realizes that this was the object that his grandmother wanted him to have.

At first this story made me very sad. I hate to think that the grandmother had died so early in the story. But after all, dying is a part of life. The story’s message that even though our loved ones pass on we still have our memories of them. The boy remembers the smells of lilacs and bleach being associated with his grandmother.

I think that a good topic to associate with this story is one about the five senses and how some people are blind and must rely on their other senses to gather information. Remind the students that the boy in this story is blind but is very good at finding things – even better than some of his sighted family members. I think that this book might be a good lesson on dying and how it is a part of life and that we will always have our memories of our loved ones who have passed.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jessy555
Genre: realistic fiction
Critique of Genre: This is a sweet example of realistic fiction because it is a story of a blind child’s love for his grandmother and the memories they shared with the hickory chair his grandfather made.
Media: mixed
Age Appropriateness: primary
LibraryThing member meallen1
The genre of this book is multi-cultural. This book is also realistic fiction. All of the art that is used in the book is illustrations. The content of this story is that a blind boy uses his senses and times that he spent with his grandmother to help guide him through his life. The reading level
Show More
for this book is fourth grade. The curricular connections of this book are also history, because it relates back to a time when people relied more on each other than technology.
Show Less
LibraryThing member DHARDY
This is the story of Louis, a young blind boy, whose grandmothers' love made him feel like he could see. He uses all his scenses to relate to his grandmother; her scent, feel, and voice became so familiar to him. When she passed away she leaves a note for each family member but Louis doesn't find
Show More
his so he questions whether he was really loved by his grandmother. Later, as a grandfather himself, he finds his note hidden in the hickory chair where he and his grandmother spent so many wonderful times together and confirms his faith that his grandmother loved him.

This is a very touching story about a loving grandparents dealing with a disability, and coping with the loss of a loved one. The author uses all the senses to identify Louis' relationship with his grandmother. The plot of the story is covered in a very sensitive and effective manner.

This book can be used during discussions dealing with disabilities, grief and loss, or to talk about grandparents and their unconditional love. A great read for children between the 3rd and 5th grade.
Show Less
LibraryThing member creeh
this book is about a little boy who loves his grandmother very much, and then she passes away leaving little notes around the house for her family to find after her death. you learn that the boy is blind, but has a nack for finding things regardless. his grandmother always called it his blindsight.
Show More
after his whole family finds thier notes hidden in the items gran wished for them to keep, he couldnt find his, so his father tells him to pick what he would like, and he chooses the chair she used to rock him in. years later, he discovers that gran had hidden his note in the chair all along.
this book would be well used for a child who has lost someone special to them because it seem sto remind you that the person you loved is still around in their smell, their belongings, and memories. it is also good because the boy being blind would make that particular disability a little easier to discuss.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cricket2574
This book was about a little boy who is blind named Louis. He loved his grandmother very much. They used to play hide-and-seek and when she died, she left notes hidden in the house on things she wanted to leave her family, but Louis did not get a note until he found it when he was very old.

Show More
absoultley LOVED this book. The story was great, sad and also happy. The art work is great and it is now one of my favorites.

I am having a hard time coming up with some extensions for some of my books, probably because I teach 3 and 4 year olds and a lot of the books I have chosen this time seem to be for older children. I would probably write notes and hide them in the room the day before and then after reading the book, have them go around and find the notes.
Show Less
LibraryThing member danielleburry
An emotional tale of a blind boy and his grandmother. She passes away and leaves notes for all her family members, but it is not until he has reached old age that he finds his note.
LibraryThing member bluemopitz
A beautiful story about a blind boy and his love for his grandmother. I loved the sentimentality of the book and the way the chair was a symbol of the love and cleverness of the grandmother.

This could be used in curriculum about differently-abled people and about family relationships.
LibraryThing member KFBruck
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book! My third grade class read this in celebration of black history month and they loved it. It depicts the relationship between a grandchild and grandmother and the love they share for one another. It’s truly touching and offers a lot of insight and
Show More
Show Less
LibraryThing member mdonley
A story of a boy who is blind and the close relationship he has with his grandmother. They spend many many hours in her old hickory chair. When the grandmother dies everyone is left a note, attached to an item they get to keep. Everyone except Louis, where could his note be? Everyone searches the
Show More
house, high and low, but no note. He remembers that all the time they spent in the hickory chair and decides to take that. Image his surprise many years later when that chair gives him a gift.
Show Less
LibraryThing member edeidrich
Although the story's main character is visually impaired, the story itself deals less with people with disabilities and more with the lasting memories of lost loved ones. Fraustino's tale focuses on the enduring love for deceased family and treasuring their legacy, and also adds descriptive texts
Show More
which conveys the experience through the perspective of someone without sight.
Show Less
LibraryThing member smdorr
This is the sad story of a little boy, who is blind, who loses his grandmother. They shared a very special bond and when she passes away she leaves him her special rocking chair, which he cherishes greatly in rememberance of his grandmother.
LibraryThing member MaryEttaJ
This book is about a little boy who is blind and he was close to his grandmother, but one day she died. She left notes for everyone to have something she wanted to give to them. It was a touching story because it reminded me of my grandmother. A sweet lady who impacted her family. I enjoyed reading
Show More
this book and I love the ending.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Laene
Louis and his grandmother play games together, and have a wonderful relationship. One day, as all grandparents will someday, she passes away. However, over the years, the grandmother has hidden away different notes assigning various belongings to his family. This wonderful tale tells the story of
Show More
Louis finding his grandmother's note where he least expects it.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this book, however, is that Louis is blind. As mentioned in other reviews, not all disability fiction treats its main characters as people, and this book does that perfectly. Louis is treated as a normal kid, not someone to be pitied. Because of this, I find The Hickory Chair to be a wonderful example of what "disability fiction" is supposed to be.
Show Less
LibraryThing member BrianRibeiro
This book is about a young boy who his blind that spends a lot of time with his Grandmother. She passes away and leaves him her most prized posession, her rocking chair.

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8
Source: My Friends House
LibraryThing member charlottestudent
This is such a touching story. It is beautifully written and illustrated. It would make a wonderful addition to any elementary library.
LibraryThing member epoche
This story is about Louis, who was born blind, and his Gran, grandmother. In the beginning they play hide and seek and Louis almost always can find her because of her smell, lilacs and a whiff of bleach. Louis describes his gran's smell, her salty kisses and the sound of the wind singing on the
Show More
roof. His Gran passed away and Louis and his family reminisced on memories about gran. In gran's will she told all the family members to find her favorite things, and read the notes left behind for them. Louis never could find his note but his family let him keep the rocking chair that meant so much to him. When Louis was as old as gran he found a crumbled piece of paper, it was the note from gran. Through the whole story, Louis references his five senses and how he still knows what's going on around him even though he can't see. I didn't expect it, but this book is one of my favorite reads of the semester. It is not all about a blind child but the book is relatable and the lesson is worth reading about. Its not very often, in children's books, that the author talks about death or a persons will. This book does touch on that, but is a perfect choice for anyone dealing with losing a family member or coping with a disability. I recommend this book to grades 1-5 and during the appropriate time, such as talks about losing a loved one or learning about disabilities.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Remy_Ferrell
The Hickory Chair is a story about a young blind kid who loves to be with his grandmother. I liked the story and it seemed to flow with ease. The paintings threw me off, but then I realized that the illustrator was doing this because the main character was blind. It was still weird though.
LibraryThing member jwesley
The Hickory Chair is a fictional story about a young boy, named Louis, who's grandmother passes away. What makes this story unique is that Louis is blind. He remembers the smell of lilacs and bleach. He even remembers how great his grandmother was at hide and seek, and before she died she left
Show More
small notes hidden in items around her house. Unfortunately, Louis was unable to find the note his grandmother had left until he reached the age of his grandmother. This book emphasized that readers should rely on their senses as well as how everyone copes with the loss of a family member.
Show Less
LibraryThing member aengolia
This is such a touching story. When the book started, I had no clue that he was blind until Louis said it. I think the author did a great job depicting the love a grandmother has for her grandchildren. I like how they portrayed Louis to be a normal boy and didn’t start out by showing his
Show More
disability. I was also fascinated with how cool he recognized her by her scent. Definitely was emotional when his grandmother passed, but amazing he was able to share the moments he did when she was still alive. The hickory chair was the ultimate symbol of the memories they shared. This was so beautifully written and even made me forget Louis was blind because I was so captivated with his relationship with his grandmother.
Show Less


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 12 inches




0590522485 / 9780590522489
Page: 1.0437 seconds