Review of Miss Spitfire, by Sarah Miller

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Miss Spitfire

Reaching Helen Keller

by Sarah Miller

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2007.  208 pages.

Starred review.

Here’s the novelized story of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher.  Sarah Miller does a magnificent job making us feel what it must have been like for a poor orphan to come miles to teach a spoiled, passionate blind and deaf child, who showed an ability for clever imitation, but didn’t show glimmers of understanding.

Annie taught Helen discipline, and then gave her the power of words.  But she might never have persevered if she hadn’t been a spitfire herself.

This book carries the reader into a compelling piece of history, and gives us a window into the mind of someone whose sheer stubbornness was responsible for a miracle.  But how amazing that she didn’t give up before that wonderful day came!

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