HELEN KELLER by George Sullivan

HELEN KELLER

Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The compelling lives of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan are interwoven with quotations from their own writing in a choppy, flat, rehashing of the now-familiar story of Keller’s vast potential and the brilliant teaching skills that grew to make Helen’s social and intellectual life rich, but negated any semblance of a personal life for Anne. Though touched upon, several questions about relationships remain unanswered and basic motivations are glossed over, namely decisions regarding marital and family relationships. Brief insights into the nature of some of Keller’s major obstacles are succinctly summarized and enlarged by well-chosen selections from Helen’s biographies, yet still lack the depth and insight a fuller telling allows. In addition, well-selected and appropriately placed black-and-white photographs enhance the telling, but are standard fare chosen from various photo archives. What is perhaps most annoying is the writing style itself: paragraphs of two to three short, declarative sentences and an avoidance of contractions and complex sentence structure create the sense of a basal reader. Included in the “In Their Own Words” series, Sullivan’s clear introduction to Helen’s story teaches the difference between primary and secondary sources, but does not internally demonstrate the proper use of documentation. His primary and secondary resources are broken down in the bibliography and include further reading suggestions, as well as a listing of organizations that could provide supplemental report information. Satisfying the requirement for 100-page biography reports, this adds little else to the field. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-14751-4
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2002




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