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The Story of my life; with her letters (1887-1901) and a supplementary account of her education, including passages from the reports and letters of her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan
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The Story of my life; with her letters (1887-1901) and a supplementary account of her education, including passages from the reports and letters of her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  287 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Kindle Edition
Published March 24th 2011 (first published 1902)
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Danielle
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ms. Keller's autobiography (the first part of this book) was wordy and sometimes tedious to read (lists of her favorite literature, lists of people who have helped or influenced her). However, her account of her childhood was interesting. Most fascinating though were the letters written by her, as her skill with language developed, and written about her by Ms. Sullivan.

Anne Sullivan was a teacher to be admired. Her methods should be studied and considered by every person who finds themselves gu
...more
Elsa K
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't get to finish all the extra material because someone had it on hold at the library, so I had to return it. Isn't that weird? Some of the reading was a little boring. But overall I enjoyed hearing her triumph. I especially enjoyed the entries by Anne Sullivan and seeing her love and dedication for Helen. I can't even imagine all they accomplished. I found this book inspiring- working hard amidst suffering and overcoming obstacles through education and love. A very interesting life!
Jennifer
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have finished this, except for her letters.

Helen Keller was an amazing woman who overcame so many difficulties. Just as amazing, if not more so, was her dedicated teacher Anne Sullivan. I find it impressive that Helen could learn so many things, especially abstract concepts. I can't even begin to imagine how isolating her life was before she could communicate.

About this book, I wish there was a follow up later in life, as this was written when Keller was only 22 years old, and she still had mu
...more
Lori
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This memoir by Helen Keller spans over the first 21 years of her life. She writes about getting ill at 19 months and losing both her hearing and sight. She is trapped in her world and lashing out trying to communicate. Annie Sullivan comes to their home hired to get through to the child. She starts finger spelling but it takes weeks almost months before Helen makes the connection of that these letters mean words and stand for something. when that spark hits it opens up a whole new world for her. ...more
Ela
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Knowledge is love and light and vision.”

Excerpt From
The Story of My Life (1887-1901)

She is one to look up to.
Valerie
I'm pretty sure this is the edition I read, although the binding is different.

Though most people have read this book at some time in their lives, unless they get hold of an edition that explicitly explains why it was written, they won't probably realize that it was written to help finance her college education.

Properly, it ought to be bound with her other autobiographical works from later periods, to give a better feel for a long-lived woman with a complex (and often controversial--her works we
...more
Jane
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure that everyone has heard the story of Helen Keller, but this is a truly fascinating view into her life, and I don't throw around the word fascinating lightly. Helen herself gives a memoir of her life, including what she can remember from before her illness, and continuing up through her college and adult years. There are then several pages of letters, which in my edition were plain text but I have looked up the images online to see her handwriting.

However, the best part of this book is
...more
Christina
This book includes The Story of My Life, followed by a collection of letters written by Helen Keller, then a collection of reports and letters written by Helen's teacher, Anne Sullivan. I found Anne's letters by far the most interesting part of the book. The letters and autobiography written by Helen herself give interesting insights into her mind, and she has accomplished amazing things, but Anne is able to give more insight into Helen's education and how she was able to accomplish amazing thin ...more
Mei
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo, non-fiction
This book needs to be broken into 3 parts, the first being Helen Keller's account of her life up until college and her letters, the second being Anne Sullivan's letters regarding Helen's early education and the third being a rather lengthy editorial of an external view (John Macy's) of Helen and parts of her education, finally dwelling on a particular issue that occurred during her school years ("The Frost King", which gives nothing away, but should give enough detail to anyone who has read the ...more
Mike
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Very interesting book. Today we focus on Helen Keller's disabilities and ignore the person. Contrary to popular conception she wasn't some sort of simpleton, but highly intelligent and opinionated. She was well spoken (yes she learned to speak), could write very well, and fluent in several languages. We also overlook the contribution her teacher made to education and how devoted Miss Sullivan was to Helen. Both were remarkable women.

The book is in three parts: Her autobiography, a collection of
...more
Jessica Barkl
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book awhile ago when I was playing Annie Sullivan in THE MIRACLE WORKER. It was a lovely read. I think that we so often get Helen Keller's perspective, but there were some amazing letters that Anne Sullivan sent to her benefactress in Cape Cod that gave a very different perspective on Helen and how she worked with her. I openly laughed several times in the recounting of Helen's discoveries. One in particular still stands out, I'll paraphrase...Helen was reading some Grimm's Fairy ...more
Whymsy Likes Books
A remarkable true story!

Helen Keller’s writing has a very poetic and introspective quality to it. I really enjoyed hearing her voice. This story puts flesh and blood to a hero of almost mythical proportions. Her determination in the face of physical opposition was amazing and her humbleness in admitting trials and the occasional defeat honest. She has no sense of entitlement only gratitude, which is truly incredible to see.

Reading this book puts into sharp relief what Miss Sullivan must have gi
...more
Orna
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Incredible. This is one of my favorite reads. It is an enjoyable read, but it also gives me so much food for thought! I had to rethink all my previous assumptions about the human mind and what is innate/ what is learned. It seriously challenged a lot of arguments psychologists make for nature vs. nurture, and whether or not humans are born w/ certain natural instincts and behaviors.

I would have to agree that Anne Sullivan's letters are one of the best parts of this book. Although Helen's writing
...more
Hannah
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The letters from Anne Sullivan were the most interesting part. That said, it's pretty amazing that Helen was able to accomplish all that she was while living deaf and blind. It's a good book to read if you want to understand that in general children are naughty because they are frustrated with their inability to communicate and/or not understanding choices and accountability. Without basic freedom that comes from that knowledge, one can feel insecure. Helen's behavior did a 180 once she was made ...more
Julia
Aug 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes autobiographies and/or who is interested in Helen Keller and people like her
Recommended to Julia by: I selected it off the shelf of Country Inns and Suites Read It a
This book was very interesting, especially at the beginning. Near the end, she started talking more about the people in her life, and I found that less interesting than what it's like to neither see nor hear and how she makes up for that. Plus, with the letters at the end and discussion of them, I felt like she was a specimen rather than a person. She seems to have had many interesting and varied experiences, leading me to believe that her family was rich, even though she never said so.
Debbie
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Ms. Keller led an impressive life despite her disabilities. While I take issue with her remembrance of her earliest years (simply because I don't know many people who have vivid memories of 18 mos. of age), it was refreshing to read her account of her life. This is quite different than what I was taught in grade-school.

She became an accomplished woman, attending college and learning multiple languages. Quite inspiring!
Beth
May 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so the book was written in the early 1900's. It was a bit slow to get through. I was facinated with Helen Keller's life, I never knew how much she accomplished. Quite amazing, she actually went to college, and became a national speaker (even though I'm wondering how well she could actually verbally speak!)
Suzanne
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
The life of Helen Keller was amazing. The things that she was able to accomplish in her life was phenomenal despite all the obstacles she faced. The reason I lowered the star score was because it repeated the same instance multiple times. Granted they were from different view points, but it still drug the storyline out.
Joan
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
By far the best section was the part when Annie Sullivan described her methods, which were brilliant, and sadly remained under-used today. All children should be educated by her precepts, and our level of literacy and creativity would be much improved.
Brenda
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book. Really made me think about how I would process the world if the only input I had was touch, smell, and the written word or what was told to me by others. And the utter frustration of not being able to communicate at all. She led such an incredible life.
Jacob De
I loved it. This is perhaps my favorite book. She lived the classical education. She is a great example to me.
Starlak
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No doubt that Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan where amazing women... this book was not. Too flowery IMHO to be "real".
Mike Jensen
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rare story of frustration and final victory. May I never have to overcome so much. I'm glad that I finally got around to reading it. You should read it too.
Dawn
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-reread
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carlin MacKenzie
It seems to me that Keller's autobiography is written as if I'm deaf-blind too. It focuses on her education and what books she likes reading and the people she meets, but not what life is like to be deaf-blind. Another reviewer mentions this and I concur, this book is about how normal Keller is and how she does all these normal people things, but as a reader we are interested in how Keller is different! I really wanted to know about her memories of things before language and the difficulties she ...more
Jim Lavis
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book shares what an extraordinary individual Hellen Keller was, and her life’s story needs to be told. She accomplished much more than many of us with full abilities could even dream of. There are so many lessons to be learned from her persistence, determination, and the training she received.

I was amazed to learn that Hellen Keller grew up to be such an accomplished writer and avid reader. Here is one quote, out of one of her letters, that touched me so and caught me by surprise "I have t
...more
Donna Collier
Oh, this book was so long! I chose to read Helen Keller's The Story of My Life from my son's middle school reading list. I did not realize that Helen Keller's actual autobiography would be less than 30% of the Kindle edition I received. The rest was Helen Keller's letters and then reports and letters from Miss Sullivan, her teacher. This book was tedious, to put it mildly. While I find Helen Keller truly amazing, I found her book a little simple, childish maybe, but definitely not fully relating ...more
Richa Sharma
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book which defies all stereotypes against all odds. I can't yet believe that a person so deprived of necessary senses can acquire so much in their lifetime. That proves again where there is a will, there is a way. Hellen Keller is an extraordinary woman with exceptional intelligence. I wonder would she be a genius had she had her eyes and hearing intact. But we may never know. Sometimes adversities bring out the best in a person which in prosperity they never care to look for. Her teac ...more
Carynpayzant
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought I knew the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan: Helen Keller was blind and deaf and her family could not control her unruliness so they sent for a teacher, Anne Sullivan, to help discipline Helen by teaching her how to communicate. Anne's techniques worked and Helen was able to contribute to society. Sound familiar?

After reading this book, I found out that I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW Helen Keller and all her amazing achievements. I learned how brilliant she was and what a dy
...more
AdamMelaine Webster
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most fascinating and inspirational books I have ever read. I wrote down pages and pages of quotes that I want to hold onto forever. Not only was Helen's story in her own words incredibly captivating, but the account of her teacher, Anne Sullivan was perhaps even more so. She was a woman of incredible vision, intuition and faith, not to mention patience, strength, and bravery. I couldn't help but aspire to be more like these two compelling and accomplished women.
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Helen Keller would not be bound by conditions. Rendered deaf and blind at 19 months by scarlet fever, she learned to read (in several languages) and even speak, eventually graduating with honors from Radcliffe College in 1904, where as a student she wrote The Story of My Life. That she accomplished all of this in an age when few women attended college and the disabled were often relegated to the b ...more

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“I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.” 102 likes
“There are times when I long to sweep away half the things I am expected to learn; for the overtaxed mind cannot enjoy the treasure it has secured at the greatest cost. ... When one reads hurriedly and nervously, having in mind written tests and examinations, one's brain becomes encumbered with a lot of bric-a-brac for which there seems to be little use. At the present time my mind is so full of heterogeneous matter that I almost despair of ever being able to put it in order. Whenever I enter the region of my mind I feel like the proverbial bull in the china shop. A thousand odds and ends of knowledge come crashing about my head like hailstones, and when I try to escape them, theme goblins and college nixies of all sorts pursue me, until I wish – oh, may I be forgiven the wicked wish! – that I might smash the idols I came to worship.” 42 likes
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