2022 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge

Braille Challenge LogoWe are excited to announce the 2022 Braille Challenge Page has been updated with the most current information about the event and how to register.

This year’s theme, chosen by the students, is The Magic of Braille.

Watch for more blog posts and updates to the 2022 Braille Challenge Page and for information about how to order this year’s Iowa Braille Challenge t-shirt.

2022 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge
Date:  Saturday, February 26, 2022 (snow date Saturday, March 5, 2022)
Where:  Iowa Department for the Blind, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, IA  50309
Testing Remotely:  Students can also test remotely with their TVI or paraeducator.  The remote testing window runs from February 1, 2022 – February 18, 2022
Registration Due:  Tuesday, January 25

For more information check out the 2022 Braille Challenge Page

Save the Date! 2022 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge

SAVE THE DATEBraille Challenge Logo

2022 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge
Saturday, February 26, 2022
at the Iowa Department for the Blind

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute launched the Braille Challenge in 2000 to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success.

Any blind or visually impaired student in first through twelfth grades who can read and write braille is eligible to participate in the preliminary Braille Challenge regional events. All contestants are tested on fundamental braille skills such as:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Speed and Accuracy
  • Proofreading
  • Charts and Graphs

We will have an exciting day of testing and prizes, as well as, parent sessions and sibling activities and finish up the day with a STEM Fest!

For Braille Challenge Finals, the top 50 students (10 in each category) with the highest scores are invited to Los Angeles for the final round – two days of competition, camaraderie and fun! (Braille Challenge finals were remote in 2020 due to COVID-19.)

Practice Contests
The Braille Challenge is designed to encourage students to practice their braille literacy skills. To hone your skills and prepare for the contest, see sample contests here. 

Watch the Braille Challenge page of our blog for more details on the upcoming Braille Challenge.

Questions?  Contact the Library at library@blind.state.ia.us or 515-281-1323.

Resources to Help You Find the Latest Books in Audio and Braille

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) offers great resources to help you find the latest audio and braille titles added to our collections.

Talking Book Topics (TBT) lists the audio books and magazines recently added to the NLS collection and available through our library. It also carries news of developments in services. NLS publishes Talking Book Topics bimonthly in digital audio, large print, HTML, and accessible PDF formats and distributes it free of charage to partons. TBT is also available in downloadable audio files and as a subscription through BARD.

Braille Book Review lists braille books and magazines recently added to the NLS collection and available through our library. It also carries news of developments in services. NLS publishes Braille Book Review bimonthly in braille, large print and HTML and distributes it free of charge to patrons. Braille Book Review is also available on BARD in ebraille by searching magazines by title, with individual issues available for download or for subscription.

Baseball Mini-Bibliography

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) creates mini-bibliographies on various subjects.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

NLS created a mini-bibliography on the subject of Baseball.  Here it is:

Baseball has long been deeply embedded in American culture. In 1889 Walt Whitman said that baseball “has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere.” Many are drawn in as children through Little League games and the hobby of collecting baseball cards. No other sport has inspired so many songs or developed its own distinctive menu. This minibibliography lists some titles for adults and children about baseball history and the basics of the game. These represent only a small fraction of the more than three hundred nonfiction titles about baseball in the NLS collection, which also includes baseball schedules (American and National Leagues) in braille.

Game Time: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell
Sportswriter Steve Kettmann compiles his favorite Roger Angell baseball essays, spanning 1962 to 2002. The pieces profile players such as Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Pete Rose, and David Cone, as well as the various teams and spring training camps that he’s studied. Introduction by Richard Ford. 2003.   Download DB 58307

A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti  by A. Bartlett Giamatti
Essays by the former Yale president who was the commissioner of baseball when he died in 1989. The articles convey Giamatti’s lifelong devotion to the sport and his belief in the integrity of the game. One, “Baseball and the American Character,” interweaves the history of the country with that of its national pastime. 1998.     Download DB 47461

When Women Played Hardball by Susan E. Johnson
Author Johnson was a fourteen-year-old fan when the All-American Girls Baseball League died in 1954 after a twelve-year span. To recreate the spirit of the league that fascinated her, Johnson interviews twenty-six of the women who played for the 1950 Rockford Peaches and Fort Wayne Daisies. Their recollections of the 1950 series are supplemented by newspaper accounts of each of the seven games. 1994.     Download DB 39231

The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher’s Mound by Roger Kahn
Author of The Boys of Summer (DB16430) discusses the psychology and physics of baseball pitching, as well as some of the major personalities immortalized in the history of the sport. 2000. Download DB 51995

The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers by Jon Pessah
Focusing on the owners and officials rather than the superstar players, ESPN founding editor Pessah examines the world of baseball during the era of Commissioner Bud Selig, 1992 to 2015. Labor disputes, steroid scandals, and boardroom battles are covered. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.     Download DB 82022

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats by Hank Aaron
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum lists every inductee from the first class in 1936, which included Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. Includes essays and player bios. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.     Download DB 79365

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame by Ze’ev Chafets
Journalist chronicles the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and alleges that politics affects the induction of players. Discusses the makeup of the selection committee and associated scandals and controversies. Some strong language. 2009.

Download DB 70370

Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball by Lawrence D. Hogan
Chronicles African American baseball from the nineteenth century until Jackie Robinson broke into the major leagues in 1947. Uses first-person accounts to profile the teams and players. Covers the business aspects of the league. Commissioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Foreword by Jules Tygiel. 2006.     Download DB 67203

Voices from the Negro Leagues: Conversations with 52 Baseball Standouts of the Period 1924–1960 by Brent P. Kelley
Interviews with African American athletes from the segregated baseball teams of the twentieth century. Includes players from before and after 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Includes Rodolfo Fernandez, now in the Cuban Hall of Fame, and Frazier Robinson, Satchel Paige’s favorite catcher. 1998.     Download DB 54770

24: life stories and lessons from the say hey kid by Willie Mays and John Shea
This biography of the legendary African American centerfielder includes interviews with the many players and non-players he inspired (including Barack Obama) and personal stories from Mays himself. Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field. Commercial audiobook. 2020.     Download DB99789 

Curveball: the remarkable story of Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro League Martha Ackman
A journalist presents a biography of the first woman to play professional baseball on men’s teams. It chronicles her baseball career, which included years in the semi-pro circuit and a stint in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. It also details her experiences of racial and gender descrimination. Some strong language. 2010.     Download DB97982

Homegrown: how the Red Sox built a champion from the ground up by Alex Speier
A Boston Globe baseball reporter looks at the 2018 Red Sox season. He believes their success was the result of careful, patient planning and shrewd decision-making that allowed Boston to develop a golden generation of prospects–and then build upon that talented core to assemble a juggernaut. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB98472

K: a history of baseball in ten pitches by Tyler Kepner
The baseball columnist for the New York Times presents a history of the sport, told through the ten major pitches of the game. Includes commentary from some of the best pitchers in baseball history, such as Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Bob Gibson, and Mariano Rivera. Some strong language. 2019.     Download BR23069

Ten innings at Wrigley: the wildest ballgame ever, with baseball on the brink by Kevin Cook
A former Sports Illustrated editor looks at a dramatic baseball game in 1979 between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs. The game went ten innings and the two teams racked up forty-five runs between them. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB95375

Children’s Books

The Good Guys of Baseball: Sixteen True Sports Stories by Terry Egan
Sixteen biographies describing men in baseball who exemplify some of the best traits an athlete can possess on or off the field: loyalty, decency, determination, and the willingness to work hard. Included are Don Wardlow, a sportscaster who is blind, and Jim Abbott, a pitcher who was born with only one hand. For grades 3–6. 1997.     Download BR 11625     Download DB 46409

World Series Classics by Dan Gutman
Play-by-play narrations of what the author considers to be the five most exciting World Series in the history of baseball: 1912, 1924, 1947, 1975, and 1991. Conveys the drama and suspense of the action-filled games, complete with interesting facts and anecdotes. For grades 5–8. 1994.     Download DB 43418

A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy
A history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during and immediately following World War II (1943–1954). The league was born during a period when the nation’s men were away at war and women enjoyed unprecedented freedom in employment and activities, including sports. For grades 6–9 and older readers. 1993.     Download BR 09473

How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas
Facts and figures about the basics of baseball, its rules, strategy, and history. Describes bats, baseballs, mitts, and uniforms. Explains a slugger’s stats, a pitcher’s throws, including recipes for spitballs and mud balls. Discusses great players, major ballparks, and even ballpark sounds. For grades 4–7. 2004.     Download BR 15898

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson by Michelle Y. Green
Mamie Johnson recalls her playing days, stating she was one of three women to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. Depicts Johnson’s overcoming racism and sexism in 1948 to pitch at age twelve for an all-white boys’ team and at eighteen for the Indianapolis Clowns. For grades 4–7. 2002.     Download DB 60256

Stars in the Shadows by Charles R. Smith
A story in rhyme recounts the second Negro League baseball all-star game in Chicago. Recaps each of the nine innings in which legendary players such as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Turkey Stearnes brought fans to their feet. For grades 2­–4 and older readers. 2012.     Download DB 74753

Baseball history for kids: America at bat from 1900 to today with 19 activities by Richard Panchyk
Investigates the history of the sport and recounts stories about former major league players. Includes activities such as calculating the Earned Run Average (ERA) and throwing a palmball. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2016.     Download DB96687

A big day for baseball: Magic tree house, book 29 by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie use the magic tree house to travel back in time to 1947 Brooklyn, New York, where they pretend to be batboys at Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves. For grades 2-4. 2017.     Download BR23124

Join the Adult Winter Reading Challenge

The Adult Winter Reading Challenge has begun! 

It’s not too late to sign up.  Go to iowablindreads.readsquared.com to register. Registration is easy!  You just need to create an account with your name and address and then choose the Adult Winter Reading Challenge to get started. If you read 7,500 minutes between January 4 – February 28, 2021, you will be entered to win a Winter Reading Themed Gift Basket.  You can log your minutes right from that website! Please call Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions.

These D-Lists (Digital List Including Special Titles) might help get you started on your path to 7,500 minutes.  Call the library (515-281-1323) to get signed up for one!

Reading Across America – comprised of books about or set in all fifty states

Books to Movies – includes books that have been made into movies

Plants in Name Only – includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.

TGAR (The Great American Read) – features the 100 books chosen during the PBS 2018 eight part series. Each cartridge will have ten of the 100 books from the Great American Read list.

VOICE (Voices Of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features our local narrators and the great audio books they have recorded for our collection.

The Bookmark Series – 50 titles that we think would make a great movie for the Hallmark Channel.

Staff Picks  – filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.  As with our staff, there is a wide variety of books included, from true crime stories to romance to mystery to historical fiction.  With a little horror and fantasy thrown in there!