Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit

Book Description

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.

Awards and Recognition

Book­TV fea­ture, Novem­ber 10, 2001
CCBC Choic­es 2002
Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Choice List of Books, 2001
Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Pub­lic Library, Chil­dren’s Books to Read and Own
New York Pub­lic Library Books for the Teenage Read­er
New York Pub­lic Library Top 100 Books
Notable Social Stud­ies Trade Books for Young Peo­ple 2002
Par­ents’ Guide to Chil­dren’s Media, Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in Books
School Library Jour­nal Best Books
Voice of Youth Advo­cates (VOYA), Non­fic­tion Hon­or List

Reviews and Comments

starred review“Lawlor looks with affec­tion and hon­esty at the whole woman… this well-research biog­ra­phy places Keller square­ly in the con­text of her times.…” (Book­list, starred review)

starred review“…this biograhy sheds new light on this extra­or­di­nary woman.” (Pub­lish­ers Qual­i­ty Library Ser­vice, starred review)

starred review“[Lawlor] cap­tures Keller’s zeal, whether brave­ly ven­tur­ing into the ocean or … to top­ple her saint­ly image.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, starred review)

starred review“Lawlor’s fine­ly craft­ed and live­ly biog­ra­phy…” (School Library Jour­nal, starred review)

“This book will astound your lis­ten­ers.” (School Library Jour­nal, Kath­leen Bax­ter in “We Could be Heroes,” Decem­ber 2001)

“…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.…” (Bul­letin of the Cen­ter for Chil­dren’s Books)

“[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.” (Prov­i­dent Book­find­er)

Helen Keller Rebellious Spirit

writ­ten by Lau­rie Lawlor
Hol­i­day House, 2001

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