Helen Keller is one of the most well-known characters from American history – and deservedly so. Her singular determination to overcome her handicaps teaches us all a lesson in fortitude and courage.
Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 to a pair of doting parents. She could see. She could burble and giggle. She could toddle around the house bringing joy and sunshine to those around her. That was before she caught the fever. After her illness she could still stumble around her great plantation home, but she could no longer see or hear. The world was dark for Helen Keller.
Her parents hated to discipline her – after all, they reasoned, what good could it do? She could not hear their words of explanation and correction. She wouldn’t understand why she was being disciplined. She would only feel unloved. So they let her do exactly as she pleased.
This did not change until the day Annie Sullivan came to live with the Kellers. Annie was determined that Helen could and would learn to communicate with the rest of them through the use of sign language. And after a period of intense struggle, Annie was proved to be right. Helen could understand – and she could finally give voice to her own thoughts!
Helen became a voracious learner. She attended schools for the blind. She learned to speak so that those who could not sign could understand her. She traveled, gave speeches, and wrote. She became a national figure, much beloved and sorely missed when she died on June 1, 1968.
I have absolutely no cautions to offer.
Conclusion. A good introductory resource – children will be fascinated by Helen’s determination and courage.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret