The story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan is given new life in an imaginative graphic novel.
This volume from The Center for Cartoon Studies focuses on the trials both Annie and Helen struggle with in their lives. If Helen was a trial for her family and Annie over the years, she is literally put on trial at the Perkins Institution. The final third of the book is devoted to this “trial,” not nearly as well known as the famous scene at the well, where Helen finally makes the mental connection that water is always water, whether in a cup, in a pitcher or running from a pump. Having gone on to learn to write, she is accused of plagiarizing her story “The Frost King,” which was published in the Perkins Institution’s alumni magazine. Interrogated for two hours, Helen was so devastated that she never wrote fiction again. The incident allows Lambert to go beyond the famous well scene to further explore the nature of words, language and ideas. “If your ideas don’t come from teacher, where do they come from?” Helen’s interrogators ask. It’s a sophisticated, sometimes overly abstract, presentation, but the volume, like its predecessors, is visually appealing and daring. Helen's perspective is powerfully communicated in dialogue-free black panels in which she is represented as only a gray silhouette.
A visual stunner that covers new ground. (panel discussions, bibliography, suggested reading) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)