Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller Hardcover – July 10, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
--Richard Peck, author of the Newbery Medal-winner "A Year Down Yonder"
* "Miller's accomplished debut imagines Annie Sullivan's first experiences with her famous pupil, Helen Keller... encouraging readers to think about the small miracles of connection they can accomplish with words every day."
--"Booklist", starred review
"Details drawn from Annie's letters and Helen's autobiography are fleshed out engagingly in the first-person voice of Miller's imagined Annie, the young "spitfire" who overcomes obstacles no matter the power of the adults in her life."
"Children encountering [Annie and Helen] for the first time will feel an overwhelming sense of wonder and delight when Annie helps Helen make a communication breakthrough. School Library Journal Readers will appreciate Annie's devotion to her pupil and how her tenacity makes a difference in the young girl's life."
"Miller brings history to life."
Top Customer Reviews
There's a reason this book is called "Miss Spitfire". Turns out, that was the nickname bestowed on Annie Sullivan when she attended the Perkins Institute for the Blind. Irish, alone in the world, half-blind, and with guts galore, Ms. Sullivan is terrified at the prospect of her very first job. She's being sent to work with one Helen Keller, a blind, deaf child. The hope is to work a "miracle" on her and teach her to bridge the gap between signing and the use of words. The task turns out to be more than she gambled for, however, when it appears that Helen has had the run of her household for years.Read more ›
MISS SPITFIRE: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller covers approximately the first month of Annie's work with Helen. Each chapter notes the date and contains a line or two from an actual letter written by Annie at that time. Annie narrates the story in first person as she comes to know Helen and her family. She speaks up when Helen's parents treat their daughter too gently, all the while wishing her own parents had been there for her. Meeting Helen's older brothers brings up both fond and sad memories of her beloved brother Jimmy. Annie begins teaching Helen to spell by tracing letters in her palm and insisting that Helen spell out what she does and what she wants.
Sarah Miller's debut shows a great deal of compassion. You can tell that the author has done her research, and that she wanted to stay true to the real events in Annie's life. The relationship between Annie and Helen was rocky at the start, and though Miller handles it with care, she never idealizes it nor sensationalizes it. She isn't afraid to show Annie physically struggling with her wild student, who bruised her teacher with her tiny yet powerful fists.
The novel is fueled by truth, determination, and introspection. This is not only about teaching Helen how to spell "doll" or "water," but about reaching her. Annie wanted Helen to really know what she was spelling - to honestly communicate - to fully understand.
Recommended for ages 8 and up - for all ages, really.
I'm sold on any book that can get a reluctant reader that hooked.
As the mother of the reviewer, I was pleased when my son spontaneously relayed a fact that he had learned from the book while eating dinner one evening. He enjoyed reading the book and I am pleased that he learned something at the same time.
I particularly liked that the Keller family was portrayed as overprotective yet ultimately strong. Each family member is empathetically portrayed. They are all willing to yield their daughter to someone who can help her. Helen's Aunt Eveline was portrayed particularly well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was an amazing read! So inspiring if you work with children! Great read for the wnd of the year!Published 1 month ago by Michelle Altermatt
Enjoyed the book. Gave a very good understanding of the challenge Ann Sullivan faced and her determination to get Helen Keller to understand and communicate with the world.Published 8 months ago by Connie Hartje
One of my favorites!! I love this book. It's perfect as a read aloud for 5th graders.Published 8 months ago by Courtney
I've read the first few pages in a preview, and it reads a great deal like another book on Miss Sullivan that I read many years ago called The Silent Storm. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Harry's Friend
A wonderful book! My daughters and I enjoyed it very much.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful story... Mesmerizing. Joyful in it's ability to draw you into the complexity of raw human emotion. As much about the "teacher" as the student. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Caren Schulz