Helen's Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher

by Marfé Ferguson Delano

Marfé Ferguson Delano shines a light on the woman who was Helen Keller’s... read more

Marfé Ferguson Delano shines a light on the woman who was Helen Keller’s famed childhood teacher but also her friend and assistant for decades. Her eye-opening biography of Annie Sullivan begins by detailing Sullivan’s difficult childhood. That cruel period saw Annie, who was partially blind and living in an orphanage, develop a fierce determination to go to school, especially after she learned there were schools especially for blind children. At fourteen the impassioned girl pleaded for a chance to learn and was transferred to the Perkins School for the Blind. It was there she was not only educated but also learned about the education of the blind, knowledge that was as invaluable as her bold spirit when she took on the teaching job that would make her famous. During her time at Perkins, Sullivan also had operations that helped recover part of her failing sight. Delano’s narrative goes on to describe Annie’s initial time with Helen Keller, and then the years that they shared as she became “Helen’s eyes,” accompanying her to boarding school, Radcliffe, and, eventually, around the world. They even performed in Vaudeville! Sullivan’s personal life was always tied to Keller. Although she married, it was a marriage that could not sustain her devotion to Helen. She died in the home they shared, with Helen holding her hand. Numerous photographs enhance this fine, handsomely designed volume. (Ages 10–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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