Author Bob O’Connor, a 1963 Dixon High School grad, recently published his 17th book “The Blind Boy Who Helped Save The Union.”
It’s his second children’s book, following 2018’s “I Was a Drummer Boy in the American Civil War.”
O’Connor, of Charles Town, West Virginia, is the son of the late Charles L. and Wilhelmina O’Connor of Dixon. He and his siblings delivered newspapers for the Dixon Evening Telegraph in their teen years along Galena Avenue and its surroundings.
The star of the book is O’Connor’s 15-year old grandson, Kyle, who was born blind and attends Maryland School for the Blind.
The author sends his grandson back into the Civil War, where he overhears a devious plot to send fever-laden blankets to the North to kill President Abraham Lincoln. In the book, Kyle also volunteers at the hospital at Camp Parole near Annapolis, Maryland, where he lives, and helps soldiers blinded in the war.
O’Connor said the book is based on lessons he has learned from his grandson.
“Kyle is puzzled that people think because he is blind, he cannot hear, and he is stupid,” O’Connor said. “He says, ‘I hear fine. I am smart. I just can’t see.’
“He wants people to know that persons with handicaps might be just as smart as you or I. They just want us to give them a chance, without judging what they might be able to do or not do.”
The author has been recognized nationally by being named a finalist four times in national book competitions. He has written five nonfiction books, 10 historical novels, and two children’s books.
“I try to be as authentic as possible in my fictional writings,” O’Connor said.
The book is illustrated by Sheena Hisiro, of New York City, who also is responsible for the drawings in the Drummer Boy book.
Go to boboconnorbooks.com or amazon.com to purchase the book.