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Helen Keller's Teacher by Margaret Davidson
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Helen Keller's Teacher (1965)

by Margaret Davidson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Scholastic Biography

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A great read, only slightly hard for children under twelve, I would say. My mother read it to us, explaining any difficult phrases, sayings or words. I thought it was lovely, and usually, when I would groan at reading time, I found these particular reading times much more fun and enjoyable. I think if you wanted to read this book, take in your idea as an excellent one!

Annie Sullivan was only a little girl when she became almost fully blind. She took many operations, constantly determined that they would help her poor eyes, but none of them worked, and she remained heartless with fear. Then her mother died of a tubercular throat, and gave birth to a little boy, Jimmie, who was born with a tubercular hip. With no wife to help, and, as a drunkard, Annie and her little brother's father had no hope for raising them, and they, to add on to the trouble, had nobody to look after them or anywhere to go.

So the two children were sent off to Tewkesbury, to the poorhouse. Jimmie had a crutch by then, and frightened little Annie had such sore eyes everything just seemed to her like a blur of grey figures and blobs. They were both taken to the women's ward, where plenty of blind, grumpy old ladies sat in their beds, furious and ashamed of themselves. Only two of these meant anything to Annie, and anyhow, she didn't care much if she had no friends. Because she still had Jimmie.

The little children had nowhere to play, for nurses and important people were crowded round the corridors, and many bustling matrons were always shooing them out of all the rooms. But they couldn't shoo them if they weren't even in the room. And there was indeed one small little place off the side of their ward, where nobody dared to go but the doctors.

The dead house. It was the only place where Annie and Jimmie could play with each other without being called off or shouted at by fearsome old women. Whether this room was covered in spiders and cobwebs, and moreover, had dead people in it before they were taken away, the children were only slightly scared of it, and it was the only way where they could communicate privately, without being heard.

Jimmie, and Annie, but especially Jimmie, was getting worse. He was getting more ill every week or so. Annie had to simply sit and watch him wither; she couldn't go and tell a matron or doctor "My brother is going to die if you do not give him treatment", for they would just chuckle and walk away. She would have probably tried it before, and it would not have worked. But she didn't just stand there. She knew she had to do something.

But the disease was just too much for her. He slowly got more and more sick, and more and more scared. And the terrible thing happened when it was one of those few times when Annie slept. She awoke, put out her hand for his, and found it not there. Feeling around in the pitch black of her eyes, she could feel his body in a bed in the dead house.

Poor Annie! How she struggled, how she cried, how she screamed! She was taken away to Perkins School for the Blind, and grew up there with operations, success, fails, and misery, until she needs to earn her living. She is taken away to teach the blind-deaf-mute Helen Keller. Read this brilliant book to find out how she teaches her to communicate. ( )
  LaviniaRossetti | Sep 6, 2016 |
It's great!!! Read it for inspiration if nothing else! ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
This book is about the struggles that Helen Keller had to over come being both blind and deaf. It took the strong will of a teacher to help Helen over come her disability and to become a name to remember. My cousin Bethany loves this book and often calls Helen her hero. Bethany tells me that its because Helen had to overcome impossible odds and won in the battle to do so that she is a hero.

I feel as Bethany does that Helen is a person to look up to that it takes a strong will and a stubborn teacher to make it through some of the toughest things in our life. Bethany dressed up as Helen and gave a report on her for a 4-H project.

I would use that idea in the class room. I would have my student pick out their hero from history and tell about them. Explain why this person is a hero.

What is a hero? Have a day to compare animated heros like batman and superman to people like Helen Keller.
  mr.discovampire | Dec 12, 2008 |
This biography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, fascinated me at a very early age. I must have read it a dozen times. An excellent book for a young reader as it really helps a child to walk in very different shoes. ( )
  eslee | Apr 16, 2006 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margaret Davidsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blickenstaff, WayneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stiff, SallyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0590446525, Paperback)

The true story of the dedicated woman, Anne Sullivan Macy, who became Helen Keller's teacher and lifelong friend.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

The true story of twenty-year-old Annie Sullivan, who's courage and determination to teach Helen how to read and write, helped herself overcome her own handicaps.

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