Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
Disney Hyperion Books, 2012
FORMAT: Graphic Novel
AGES: Young Adult
I read this book as part of the 2013 YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge. So far for the challenge I have read:
9. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
6. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
4. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
3. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
2. Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
1. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose
I REALLY liked how this book started. It shows a grey shadow with a dark background. The shadow is grabbing something yellow and eating it. Then a blue shadow comes into the picture and stops the grey shadow from eating. The grey shadow has a tantrum and doesn’t want to use this pink shape (a spoon) to eat. The grey shadow just wants to eat. And so begins the visual of what a glimpse into the frustrating life of Helen Keller. But this book really isn’t about that grey shadow that has such a hard time contemplating the world around her. This book is about the blue shadow, Annie Sullivan, who was paid to help bring sense to the world of a little girl.
Once again I am amazed at how much information and feeling can be portrayed through a graphic novel. This book not only showed the frustrations of Helen Keller, which everyone knows about, it also showed how frustrated Annie Sullivan was over various roadblocks to helping Helen understand the world. In fact, until I read this book I had no idea the extent of the obstacles that both Helen and Annie needed to overcome. This is a great resource for getting teens interested in someone who has faced just as many challenges (if not more) than they have. Well done. Once again I am impressed with the nonfiction on the YALSA award lists!