Laurie Lawlor: Biographies

    Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit

    "When Helen Keller was just nineteen months old an illness left Helen completely deaf and blind. Her eyes were eventually surgically removed. Her world contained no sound, no words. Helen's parents coped for several years by spoiling Helen, but eventually found themselves overwhelmed. Finally they hired a special teacher. The teacher they hired was just a teenager herself. But Annie Sullivan was very determined. Anne and Helen soon clashed but Anne's stubbornness matched Helen's intelligence. With Anne's help Helen learned to speak and to write. A comprehensive biography of Helen Keller includes 70 photographs from her life."

Reviews and Comments

CCBC Choices 2002 -- Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Lawlor looks with affection and honesty at the whole woman... this well-research biography places Keller squarely in the context of her times...." -- Starred Review; Booklist

"...this biograhy sheds new light on this extraordinary woman." Starred Review, -- Publishers Quality Library Service.

"[Lawlor] captures Keller's zeal, whether bravely venturing into the ocean or ... to topple her saintly image." -- Starred Review; Publishers Weekly

"Lawlor's finely crafted and lively biography..." -- Starred Review; School Library Journal

"This book will astound your listeners." -- Kathleen Baxter in "We Could be Heroes" in School Library Journal December 2001.

"An absorbing portrait of an individual whose life was a series of private and public challenges." -- SLJ's Best Books; School Library Journal

"[Lawlor's book provides] ... another side of Helen's character is her strong political beliefs and a rebellious nature." -- Children's Books to Read and Own -- Cuyahoga County Public Library

"...Lawlor does a fine job of peeling back layers of her achievements to reveal their cost and assess the extent to which Keller fulfilled her own dream of mainstreaming with the sighted, hearing world. ... there is additional spark from Lawlor's sharp insights...." -- The Bulletin

"[Lawlor] uncovers much of the complexities of Keller's life: the prickly personality of teacher Anne Sullivan; the relationship of Helen and Anne with Helen's family and the culture of the deep south; how bother her fame and her family conspired to keep Helen more as a symbol than as a person rich in personality and contradiction." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...Keller's persistent ability to reinvent herself, echoes throughout Laurie Lawlor's absorbing and vigorously researched biography of the most famous deaf and blind person in history." -- Horn Book Magazine

"Most adults know about Helen Keller, the little girl who went blind and deaf at age 19 months. But our children and young people may not know the account. This book is for them, easy to read with lots of fascinating pictures." -- Peter J. Dyck, Provident Bookfinder (August-September 2001; vol. 32 issue 1)

Honors and Recognition for Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit

Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit has been named as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2002, a list evaluated and selected by a Book Review Committee appointed by National Council for Social Studies and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council. In announcing the selection the committee said, "The rebellious spirit in Helen Keller is dramatically portrayed in this interesting biography. In this well-researched book, Helen comes alive; the reader gets to know her intimately, with all her prickles, sorrows, glory and happiness. Photo illustrations complete the piece." The book received a special annotation -- "Selector's Choices" which designate books that the committee members responded to with particular enthusiasm. Complete List of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2002.

Featured on BookTV on Saturday November 10, 2001. Laurie Lawlor talked with children from Lincoln School in Wheaton, Illinois about her young reader's biography: Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit. Ms. Lawlor shared the research she uncovered during the writing of the book: photographs, information about Helen, and facts about the Braille alphabet and its development, her friendship with Alexander Graham Bell, and other interesting facts.

Parent's Guide to Children's Media, Inc. Board of Directors "honors outstanding achievement in books - - 2001 Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit by Laurie Lawlor.

Chosen on Children's Literature Choice List of Books for 2002. List features 150 books chosen for their excellence from 4000 books read by Children's Literature's team of reviewers in 2001.

Top 100 Books for 2001 New York Public Library

NYPL - Books for the Teenage Reader, 2002 -- Included in the "Overcoming Odds" section.

Cited in Marilyn Carpentar's article, "Books About Valiant Women." in Inland. "She has uncovered the real human being that was Helen Keller and separates her from her legend. ... an absorbing and carefully researched biography of the famous Keller.

Named to Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), seventh annual Nonfiction Honor List.

    Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit. (2001) Holiday House. ISBN: 0823415880. 168 pg. Biography.

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