Sunday, July 29, 2012

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
Lambert, Joseph. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller.
Lambert, Joseph. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller.
27 March 2012, Hyperion

This graphic novel tells the story of Annie Sullivan coming to help Helen Keller learn to communicate, but also picks up more of Annie's story of her own difficulties as a child. The graphics are particularly effective in portraying Helen's inability to sense the world around her-- a black background has a shadowy gray child on it until Helen is able to process words. A few things new to me are covered-- Helen's story, The Frost King, a story that Helen wrote as a gift for her teacher's mentor and was later accused of plagiarizing from another source was not a story I had heard. Also interesting was how Helen developed her sense of color when she could not see, and how she was able to replicate speech. My one objection to the book is that the panels are very small-- 1.5" by 2", set 16 on a page-- so the font was also very small. The book is only 96 pages long-- I would have increased the size and made the book longer. The Center for Cartoon Studies does great stuff, like the Satchel Paige biography, and I'm looking forward to reading the Harry Houdini treatment even though I prefer nongaphic biographies, like Miller's Miss Spitfire.

On a different note, there are a couple of really good interviews with Helen Keller on You Tube. It was interesting to get to watch her actually speak. Annie Sullivan also appears in one, a newsreel from 1930. Cool stuff.


Laurisa White Reyes said...

Always love reading about Helen Keller.

Lorna Wheaton said...

This one is in my library bag right now, but I haven't gotten to it just yet. My 8yo, who loves biographies and graphic novels tried it, but didn't like it. I suspect because of the small panels. I'll have to check it out!

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