Saturday, February 18, 2012

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller

genre: middle grade

Having arrived in Alabama, Anne Sullivan has no idea of what to expect when she meets her new pupil, the deaf and blind Helen Keller.  How can Anne reach into Helen's mind and help her not only understand WHAT language is, but how to communicate?  It doesn't take long to realize that the task will be much harder than she imagines.  Helen is wild, angry and insistent on controlling her own family.  Anne, having been without her sight for many years, sympathizes with Helen's frustration but Anne will not tolerate Helen's violence and disobedience.  What will it take for Anne to reach the intelligencence that she KNOWS lies inside of Helen?

This book was so well done.  I am very familiar with the story of Helen Keller but this book was a wonderfully fresh perspective.  I really appreciated how well Anne understood what langauge does for us, how criticial us the link between being having thoughts in our head and being able to share them with others.  Poor Helen, who didn't even have words to CREATE tangible thoughts.  The moment when things click brought tears to my eyes.  A beautifully written narrative about a subject that will never cease to amaze.

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1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That does sound like an amazing book!

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