Blog Post 2

For our book, Alicia and I will be creating a short story based on prosthetics, because I’m a biomedical engineer, and Alicia loves to help kids! (I love to help kids too ok don’t worry)

We came up with a few different plot ideas, but decided on this one:

Fall is coming, which means the start of school is right around the corner. Carson, who is about to start first grade, is nervous, because he looks different than the other kids with his prosthetic arm. When he gets to school, he is very shy and doesn’t talk to anyone. As a result, other kids make fun of him. That same day, when he is walking back from school, he notices that someone is moving into the house next to his. Upon further inspection, he sees that it is an old man with a prosthetic like his own! Hesitant but curious, he goes to talk to his new neighbor. The old man tells Carson about his past and how he lost his arm at war, and Carson’s perspective is completely changed by his new hero. The next day, Carson goes to school with confidence, and shares the veteran’s story with his peers.

We plan to draw our illustrations by hand, while still keeping them simple and colorful.

Questions:

How do we keep the scientific facts simple but accurate?

How will we keep kids who don’t have/need prosthetics engaged in the story?

As a team, Alicia and I will be sharing the workload, catering to our strengths to maximize efficiency.

10 thoughts on “Blog Post 2

  1. This looks like a really good topic for a picture book. I think it is always a good message that kids with disabilities can come to be accepted by their peers on the exact same level.
    To answer one of your questions, I don’t think it will matter whether the reader has a prosthetic or not, as long as your story itself is interesting. I’m not sure how exactly this would be done, but I think a story can be very engaging even if the reader doesn’t necessarily relate to the main character.
    As for the scientific facts, I don’t think there’s that many on this topic that would be hard to present to a young audience. Maybe the simple fact that someone has a prosthetic will be the hardest to explain without losing the voice of the book.

  2. Honestly I really think this is the perfect idea! I think the older man losing his arm in a war might seem a little heavy-handed for children to some, but I think it works because it doesn’t mislead the readers (children) as to reality. Furthermore, if done right it could be very inspirational as it shows that even with a missing arm you can still persevere! In regards to your question about keeping the facts simple, I really think the story fits well because as long as you don’t go in depth into the engineering and electronics that go into a functional prosthetic arm you won’t confuse the kids. However, as long as you leave some snippet that hints that there’s more going on with the arm, the curious kids that read it will probably ask questions about how a prosthetic arm works, thus getting them interested in science and engineering. I’m jealous of such a good idea, great work folks.

  3. You guys have a great idea! I also love how your story will also have lesson to it. Don’t worry to much about how to explain the science behind the prosthetic. I would make a diagram of the science concepts you want to include and then generalize them in your story. If I were an elementary kid reading your book, I would be so psyched. That being said I can say for certain I would definitely focus on the illustrations because that would draw may attention.

  4. I think this is a good idea for a picture book as then just emphasizing prosthetics to kids it also gives a story of self-esteem and what kids go through in a day. The only problem I can see is getting your idea to 32 pages but I believe with all the time you have you should make it there. I like the idea and would also like to say I am a biomedical engineering major as well. It will be cool implementing a new source of technology, prosthetics, to kids and see how they all respond and react to it. This book could also teach kids not to treat someone different based on their physical characteristics. This book should be good and I am looking forward to reading it.

  5. Your topic is so unique! I cannot think of much literature targeted at children that teach about prosthetics so I love that this will create more awareness. I think the plot is set up very well and it’s a nice lesson to teach to children. Are your illustrations going to be abstract or more realistic? I think a more realistic approach would be appropriate because it shows children what a prosthetic actually looks like. Also, maybe a couple pages explaining what a prosthetic arm is because I was definitely not familiar with that word in first grade! I am excited to see the end product and see how the illustrations will fit with your story. I think the illustrations will play a role in keeping all children engaged in the story and not just ones who specifically have prosthetics.

  6. I love this idea!! I think it is definitely something necessary to talk about as technology is continuously improving and people have more access to prosthetics. Like some of the other comments mentioned, I would also recommend focusing on how the children accept him after he gains his confidence. I’m very excited to read this and see how it pans out! Good luck!

  7. I think this topic can be interesting to children! Perhaps you can really show these kids how prosthetics can really make everybody equal even if they do not have the blessings of a body part. I think it will be really cool corporating this innovating invention into a children’s book. I think that is very unique for a children’s book. I think if you can show pictures and relate the challenging concepts to the kids it will help them understand them. I also think your structure for the story is spot on! Bringing in the war idea can really be interesting for little boys because i remember when i was growing up i loved that stuff! Goodluck on your book look forward to seeing the final project.

  8. I really like this idea for a book. I believe it will be very engaging to read for both adults and children alike.
    I would recommend focusing on what the other children at school did to make the main character feel more welcomed, as the wider audience of this book will be children who don’t have prosthetics but that might encounter those who do. The story of the older man can be a source of confidence for the main character but I think emphasizing the acceptance from his peers could be a very useful lesson for the audience.

  9. I love your topic! I too am very interested in prosthesis and have some experience in the area. My recommendation would be to add in some scientific facts, more likely around the neighbor, possibly about phantom limb pain or how prosthetic devices have improved in the recent years. Additionally, Carson could explain to his friends how his arm works and/or the molding and fitting process with engineers, CPO’s, and orthopedic doctors.
    Your Questions:
    I think you will be able to keep your scientific facts simple enough by breaking the concepts down as simple as you can get, without losing scientific accuracy. Having it as a story with Carson should make that easier.
    To keep others engaged, the most important part in my opinion is having a fun story line and vibrant images that they want to look at, which appears to be your plan! 🙂

  10. Wow, that sounds like a great idea for a book! To answer your questions:

    I don’t think this is something you need to worry about. It seems to me that this book should focus more on how all kids are equal, even those with prosthetics, rather than on the science of the prosthetics themselves. Children aren’t going to be very interested in the exact mechanism of a prosthetic elbow.

    I would recommend focusing on how children with prosthetics aren’t less than anyone else, and their prosthetics even make them unique, like a cyborg or something.

    Good luck with your project, and I’d love to see the finished product!

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