New York: Disney Hyperion Books, 2012.
For those still skeptical of graphic novels, this version of the Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan story for upper elementary and middle school grades may be your conversion. Most of the story is told from Annie Sullivan’s point of view and reveals some heartbreaking details about her life leading up to her position in the Keller household. The panels of the story shown in grays and browns, however, are Helen’s perspective. Those simple drawings show us how it might feel to live in a dark, slilent world. They give us a tiny inkling of what life was like for Helen, especially before she understood the concept of language. Thanks to Annie, Helen’s world changes from a frustrating black void to a world full of new people, things and concepts. The story does not end there, though. It goes on to describe one more trial for young Helen – being accused of plagiarism.
This is another graphic novel from the Center for Cartoon Studies who brought us Houdini: The Handcuff King, Satchel Paige: Striking out Jim Crow, Thoreau at Walden, and Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean.
CCSS: High School & Middle School – ELA in History/Social Studies & Technical Subjects – Reading Standards for Literature – Literature in Other Forms.
Dewey: 362.4 Interest: Grades 5-8 and up
Awards/Reviews: ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens – 2013; Booklist Starred; Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books; Hornbook; Kirkus Review; Library Media Connection Starred; School Library Journal.
Younger readers may like: Helen Keller’s Best Friend Belle by Holly Barry.
High School students may like: Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller by Georgina Kleege.