Sunday, May 18, 2008

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller

Anne Sullivan had always been called Miss Spitfire because she was so unruly and feisty, and she learned how those traits would serve her well when she became teacher to Helen Keller, every bit a Miss Spitfire herself, at all of six years old! From the moment Anne meets Helen, the psychological, emotional, physical and mental battles begin. Anne had nowhere else to go when she took the job as a teacher to Helen. She daily reminds herself of that fact, as she struggles to gain respect from all the Kellers, who have let little Helen terrorize their lives, and to reach Helen, who seems so frustrated, angry and isolated. The story is engaging and quite a page-turner, as we read of Anne's struggles and hope for a breakthrough with Helen. The chapters begin with exerpts from the letters Anne really wrote to her former housemother at Perkins Institute for the Blind. Miller also includes an Author's note, photos, a Chronology, and Bibliography.

1 comment:

Karen Gavigan said...

Second. This is a very interesting look at the frustrations and joys that Anne Sullivan experienced when trying to get young (and undisciplined)Helen Keller to grasp the meaning of language. A powerful and well documented story. Interesting quotes from letters written by Anne Sullivan preface each chapter.