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Helen Keller

Helen Keller

3.0 3
by Elizabeth MacLeod, Andrej Krystoforski (Illustrator)

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Meet Helen Keller — advocate for the blind and deaf. The story of Helen's struggles to learn how to communicate and the enormous difference she made for the blind and deaf around the world is told in level-appropriate language and detailed illustrations. A Level 3 first reader.


Meet Helen Keller — advocate for the blind and deaf. The story of Helen's struggles to learn how to communicate and the enormous difference she made for the blind and deaf around the world is told in level-appropriate language and detailed illustrations. A Level 3 first reader.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Helen Keller is an inspirational figure who captures the interest of young readers. She was born a healthy child in 1880 in Alabama, but when she was 19 months old, she came down with a high fever. Soon after, she lost both her eyesight and her hearing. Life was difficult for Helen. She became frustrated when no one knew what she wanted. She learned to express herself by making signs, such as shivering when she wanted ice cream. Helen’s parents wanted to help her so they searched for someone who could teach her how to live in a world without seeing or hearing. Eventually, Helen and her parents visited a school for the blind in Boston. There, Helen met Annie Sullivan, a teacher who came to live with the family. She wanted to teach Helen how to express herself by using sign language. Soon, Helen was learning how to sign for water by feeling water running over her hands. She learned 625 words in six months. Helen and Annie became lifelong companions. With Annie’s help, Helen was able to go to college. She became the first deaf-blind person in the United States to finish college. Helen and Annie decided to go on a speaking tour. Helen talked first, and then Annie repeated her words. This was necessary because Helen’s words were not always clear since she could not hear the words she was speaking. Helen’s disabilities did not keep her from traveling around the world. She collected millions of dollars from her speeches to help blind and deaf people. Helen died in 1968, just before her eighty-eighth birthday. She is remembered for her courage in overcoming her loss of sight and hearing. Text and illustrations complement each other. Author MacLeod has done a nice job of explaining in simpleterms the life of an inspiring woman. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This biography tells Keller's story in a readable, sometimes fictionalized narrative and busy, colorful page layouts. On each spread, the main text appears on the left, while the opposite page consists of a visually appealing collage of black-and-white, full-color, and tinted photos and interesting tidbits set against a pastel background. MacLeod includes many well-known facts about Keller's life as well as a few less-familiar details. The controversy over her story, "The Frost King," which she wrote at age 11 and was accused of plagiarizing, is mentioned but not dwelled upon. Overall, the portrayal of Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, is very complimentary. The illustrations include a sample of Keller's handwriting and charts that demonstrate sign language and Braille. The book ends with a detailed time line, a useful index, and a list of places to visit. This offering is livelier than Deborah Kent's Helen Keller: Author and Advocate for the Disabled (The Child's World, 2003) and better suited to reluctant readers.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Helen Keller's inspiring story has a way of making it into most elementary-school curricula. Many easy-reader books about her life already exist, all keeping to the surface, rarely getting at the complexities of her life. This is no exception. The familiar story unfolds with little drama: birth, fever, the Boston visit, Annie Sullivan, the W-A-T-E-R scene, college, travels, death. Modern readers, even young ones, could surely handle some of the lesser-known details of Keller's politics and adult life. Strangely, MacLeod chooses to call the adults in Helen's life by their first names. While this works with Annie, it does not with Alexander (Graham Bell). Watercolor-filled ink drawings carefully match the text, but competent illustrations cannot make up for what is missing: energy and insight. A better choice for new readers would be Johanna Hurwitz's Step into Reading offering, Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark (1997), the stalwart Stewart and Polly Graff's Helen Keller: Crusader for the Blind and Deaf (1991), or for older readers, Joan Dash's The World at Her Fingertips (2001). The lack of notes, bibliography or online resources further mar this book. (Biography. 6-8)

Product Details

Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
Kids Can Read Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.12(d)
960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Elizabeth MacLeod has written many children's books, including nine titles in the Snapshots Biography series, numerous titles in the Kids Can Read, Kids Books Of and Kids Can Do It series, Why Do Horses Have Manes?, What Did Dinosaurs Eat?, and Monster Fliers. She lives in Toronto.

Andrej Krystoforski was born in Poland. He has worked as a production designer and as an animator. In addition to illustrating the Jungle of Utt books and The Boy Who Loved Bananas, he has also contributed illustrations to many magazines and newspapers. Andrej lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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