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Annie and Helen

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  320 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
"What is breathtakingly shown here, through accurate, cross-hatched watercolor paintings; excerpts from Sullivan’s correspondence to her former teacher; and concise and poetic language, is the woman’s patience and belief in the intelligence of her student to grasp the concepts of language," praised School Library Journal in a starred review.

Author Deborah Hopkinson and ill
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade
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Margo Tanenbaum
While there are many, many books about Helen Keller targeted at young readers, Deborah Hopkinson and Raul Colon have added to these riches with a lovely picture book biography that focuses on the intense relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

Hopkins intersperses her narrative, which begins on the day when Annie Sullivan came into Helen Keller's life, with excerpts from Annie's own letters to her friend and former teacher, Sophia Hopkins. We see Helen throwing a viole
Nov 28, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful version of the Helen Keller story. It's such a familiar story for me, from learning about her in school and from watching the movie version of The Miracle Worker starring Patty Duke.

But I think this is one of the best versions I've read. It tells Helen's story concisely, focusing on the first few months that she spent with Annie Sullivan, but adds enough emotion and details to keep a child's interest. And the illustrations are wonderful, too. We really enjoyed reading this b
Richie Partington
Jun 21, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: ANNIE AND HELEN by Deborah Hopkinson & Raul Colón, Schwartz & Wade, September 2012, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-375-85706-5

“Hey you, out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall
Can you help me?”
--Pink Floyd, “Hey You”

“But although Helen quickly learned to mimic these finger-words,
she didn’t understand that each motion was a letter,
that letters make up words,
and that words could be names for things.
She didn’t know that the cold, sweet taste on her tongue was called ice crea
Ivy Marion
Apr 24, 2016 Ivy Marion rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Have you ever felt as though you couldn't accomplish something? Did you want to give up? Well Annie Sullivan had one of the hardest jobs. She took the job of teaching a deaf and blind child to read and write. This book is told with some of the journal entries from Annie Sullivan and her obstacles with trying to teach Helen Keller how to read and write. She persevered and held a great patience towards the little girl. Want to know how it ended? You'll have to read the book! I loved this book ...more
Laura Salas
Nov 25, 2012 Laura Salas rated it it was amazing
Annie and Helen
by Deborah Hopkinson
Schwartz & Wade, 2012

I only know the most basic information about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, and I always kind of wondered *exactly* how Annie taught a child who could neither see nor hear to make words. It seems like an impossible task!

This book explains it all, in a way that acknowledges the enormity of the task but makes the process understandable. Helen is a real, frustrated, tantrum-throwing girl. And Annie is a real person, patient, firm, and de
Jessica Harrison
Full review at Cracking the Cover

There are a number of elements that make “Annie and Helen” stand out. Three days after Annie entered the Keller home, she began sending letters to Sophia C. Hopkins, a friend and former teacher. Excerpts from those letters are included throughout the book, providing an added depth that couldn’t be found elsewhere.

Deborah Hopkinson’s text is simple but sophisticated. There’s no talking down to young readers here. Fine illustrations by Raul Colon fill in the gaps a
Reviewed at:

Deborah Hopkinson's story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller really brings the story of Helen's life and Annie's teaching to life. With the help of Raul Colon's illustrations and quotes from letters of Annie's, the reader truly understands what it was like for Annie and Helen.

Since I teach Hurt Go Happy which is about a deaf young lady named Joey, this book will be a great picture book to include during that unit. My students are always fasci
A picture book biography of Helen Keller with a focus on the early years she spent learning from her teacher Annie Sullivan. Included are some excerpts from Sullivan's personal letters. Illustrations are rendered in watercolor.

A great read aloud introduction to an important person. Recommended for grades 3-5.
Dec 10, 2012 Lorna rated it really liked it
Great picture book biography. I love how the author incorporated Annie's letters about her progress with Helen in the story. While their story is widely known, there were a few new things that I learned. Be sure to read the author's note at the front. Would recommend for grades 1-4.
Krystal Ash
A story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. Such a touching book! Something that parents can read to their kids to teach them a part of history.
Chelsea Carey
Nov 04, 2016 Chelsea Carey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-for-children
Review: This Oregon Book Award winning story is easily one of my favorites. It tells the story of Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child, who's mind is expanded by her teacher Annie Sullivan. The text includes jounal/letter entries, poetry, and beautiful water-color type illustrations. Overall, this is probably one of my favorite childrens books I've read, and I would definitely like to share it with my future students.

Content Areas: For this specific book, you could use it for many different subj
Lori Gravley
Sep 19, 2016 Lori Gravley rated it really liked it
Nice use of source texts.
Diana Gonzalez
Oct 13, 2016 Diana Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
The book a nonfiction book, Buckaroo Award Nominee. Annie and Helen is a biography that tells the story of Helen Keller, a deaf-blind girl who always got her way until Annie came along and introduced her to a new world. I admire the bond between Annie and Helen.

This book could be a useful tool for teachers with students who have special needs. It presents various creative methods and tools Annie used to help Helen learn. Such as nature, objects, the manual finger
Jul 02, 2016 Andrea added it
Shelves: biographies
This text brings to life the inspiring story of Helen Keller as she learns to read, write, think, learn, behave and understand the world around her, despite her blindness and deafness. The biographical account highlights the remarkable relationship Helen Keller has with her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The text is dappled with original text of letters written by Ms. Sullivan herself, supporting the text with change in perspective shifting to the main character. Authentic photos of Helen and Annie ...more
Carolyn Krecklow
Aug 29, 2013 Carolyn Krecklow rated it really liked it
Author has a wonderful descriptive way with words!
Expressions : “Helen was like a small,wild bird, throwing herself against the bars of a dark and silent cage.”
“like someone on a windy peak trying to kindle a fire for warmth, Annie kept hoping for a spark to catch.”
“Suddenly the rush of water and the touch of Annie’s fingers flashed through Helen’s mind like lightening in a midnight sky.”
Featured interspersed throughout the book in italics are portions of Annie’s letters ‘home’ to her friend and
Aug 11, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it
Annie and Helen, by Deborah Hopkinson and Raul Colon, is a nominee for the 2014-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Annie and Helen is an ideal book for introducing young readers to the inspiring story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The book takes readers through both Sullivan's and Keller's early lives and their quest to find a way for young Helen to communicate with the world around her.

The watercolor illustrations in Annie and Helen combine beautifully with the poetic narra
I really love this book as a learning tool for children. Whoever designed the inside cover is amazing and brilliant. The inside cover of this book contains all kinds of photographs of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller spanning a number of years. The illustrations are also done very well for this book, but to see an actual picture and put a real face to a person is beneficial for the reader.

The story is the classic story of young Helen's live from the time Anne Sullivan arrived on her doorstep. Hel
Mike Romesburg
Sep 01, 2013 Mike Romesburg rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
I have many books about Helen Keller in my elementary school library but I think this will be a nice addition to them. It is told more from the point of view of Annie Sullivan, her wonderful teacher and covers the first year that she had Annie as her teacher. The end papers have photographs which I always enjoy poring over and I sure my students will enjoy as well. I even learned a few things, especially that Helen Keller had a younger sister named Mildred. Perhaps I had read this before but it ...more
With powerful watercolor illustrations that allow emotions to play over the faces of this book's subjects, Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, and the Braille alphabet on the book's back cover, readers are thrust into the world of a child whose teacher opened the world's possibilities to her. Since the book contains excerpts from letters written by both women, it is possible to experience Sullivan's frustration and determination to work with Helen. The text also highlights the joy with which Helen ...more
The top GR review said, "a lovely picture book biography that focuses on the intense relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan," and I was intrigued. Honestly it's mostly just about Helen learning to communicate -- while Annie is certainly the driver for that, I felt like she faded into the background as the book went on (which is not a criticism of the book, just that I experienced the book differently than that reviewer did).

It has more text than Helen's Big World: Th
The Library Lady
This picture book focuses just on the first year or two of Helen Keller's life with Annie Sullivan, her remarkable "Teacher" and does a good job of explaining that remarkable story to a younger audience.Some of the artwork here is wonderful, some seems slightly flat and distorted.
There are a lot of books about Helen Keller out there--personally I've been reading them all since around 1970.d this is a nice one, though it doesn't rock my world. I'll be waiting to see if Doreen Rappaport's Helen's
Kara Walker
Jul 29, 2014 Kara Walker rated it liked it
This children's book beautifully depicts the life of Helen Keller as a child, a child who has to undergo the difficult process of learning how to maneuver throughout the world as a blind and deaf woman. With the help of Annie Sullivan, Helen learns to spell words, learns how to read and write, and is even able to understand sound through the vibrations she feels. This story not only tells of Helen's perseverance, but it also sheds life into the importance of Annie. Without Annie's determination ...more
Kyndall Mckemie
Jul 05, 2014 Kyndall Mckemie rated it it was amazing
There is a definite reason this book made the South Carolina Children's Book Award. Stories of Helen Keller have always been heavily grounded in narratives describing the overcoming of impossible odds. What makes this story special is the influence of a character behind the scenes and ultimately responsible for Keller's success, her mentor Annie. The theme of "it takes a village" goes to show all of the special people that one encounters in a lifetime and what they mean in the end. From a ...more
The text is clear and very informative; I particularly liked how Hopkinson was able to convey the difficulty in teaching Helen to acquire language, making this the focus rather than being another biography of Helen's life. Would Helen ever have done so without tenacious Annie (also disabled, as Hopkinson makes clear) by her side? The inclusion of quotes from Annie's letters offers a perspective from Annie's POV. Photos on the endpapers show Helen through the years, with Annie occasionally in ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it
Thanks, Mr. Schu, for this book! I won it in his blog contest. I've always been fascinated by Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, so I'm glad new books are being made about them. This one has beautiful photographs lining the inside covers, and I liked the letters throughout that Annie wrote to her friend and former teacher back home in Boston about her experiences with Helen. It never ceases to amaze me the strength and willpower it took for Annie to break through the barriers and teach Helen to ...more
Excerpts from Annie's letters about Helen are intertwined with a narrative about how Annie Sullivan helped Helen Keller learn language. This book has a little different focus than most books I've read in that it goes into more depth about Annie's specific strategies in teaching Helen. I think students will really enjoy that in-depth description because it shows just how difficult communicating ideas can be. The final page has the text of Helen's first letter home that she produced using a ...more
Ashley Stegall
May 06, 2014 Ashley Stegall rated it it was amazing
I checked this out from the Library to read to my three year old. We don't watch television, but we read many many books. I am always trying to find ones that will educate as well as keep her attention. At three this is sometimes hard to do. However, she really enjoyed this book, especially when Annie is first teaching Helen the hand gestures. I really enjoyed reading this to her, and we will definitely have to revisit this one!
Sandy Brehl
There are many books relating the story of Annie Sullivan's teaching of Helen Keller. This picture book combines narrative that explains the way in which Annie's finger spelling lessons evolved into elaborate language and communication skills for Helen, paired with excerpts from Annie's letters/journal notes about the process. Illustrations, photos on the endpapers, and text combine to tell this story with clarity and appeal.
Sep 27, 2013 Christina rated it liked it
A picture book biography about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. The art is average, not really anything that made me sit up and notice. Some nice writing, though, such as this passage describing how Annie felt while repeatedly fingerspelling words and hoping Helen would catch on to what she was doing: "Like someone on a windy peak trying to kindle a fire for warmth, Annie kept hoping for a spark to catch."
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I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction. I love history and visiting schools to talk to young readers.

TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER was named a 2013 Sibert Honor Book and a 2013 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist. My most recent nonfiction title, COURAGE & DEFIANCE, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in WWII Denmark,was named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Bo
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