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Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller (Big Words)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,562 ratings  ·  241 reviews
This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,562 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Helen Keller is such an inspiration to being human in my mind. I went to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad museum yesterday and that with this makes me think of truly inspiring women who do things that seem impossible. Helen shows there is no excuse to not having what you want. I have found that much of the limitations in life come from our inner voice - 'you can't do that'. If you ignore that voice and say, I can do that, much of the time we really can. Helen had a deep understanding of l ...more
Mike Mullin
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Superior to almost all the longer children's biographies of Keller in that it doesn't shy away from her later life as a social activist. It never ceases to amaze how a superb writer like Rappaport can convey more of the reality of a story in 48 pages than a mediocre writer can in hundreds. The text is also enriched by dozens of quotes--giving readers a sense of Keller's own voice. Highly recommended.
A big, gorgeous, inspirational picture book about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Like Martin's Big Words, the format includes inspirational quotes and key moments in Keller's life. A lovely introduction that will leave young readers wanting to learn more.
Rebecca Wenzler
Excelling without Seeing

In Helen’s Big World, writer Doreen Rappaport shares an inspirational story about the life of Helen Keller and the obstacles she overcomes with her blindness. As Rappaport describes Helen’s determination and perseverance to reach her goals in life, despite her physical disabilities, life lessons of never giving up are revealed throughout the story.

The story begins with Helen’s life as a baby. When she was very young she became very ill. Her illness left her blind, deaf
Ruth Lehrer
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Obviously this author amd artist have not had a lot of experience with deaf-blind people. I took a quick read of this in the bookstore and found many glaring errors and misrepresentations of these people and their language. To start with, the cover has "Braille" which is tactile but not actually useable to a blind person. The spacing is so large and the dots so small, the product is all but unreadable. It is, as my blind friend used to call it, Braille for the sighted.
I do not see any acknowled
Kathleen Hickey
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Helen’s Big World tells the inspiring life story of Helen Keller. Helen became ill when she was two years old and went deaf and blind. Doreen Rappaport integrates moving quotes throughout the book to compliment her writing, and it really adds life to the story. Helen Keller defies all odds against her and changes the world for the better. The story is an excellent way to introduce and discuss the life of Helen Keller in an inspiring and interesting way.

This book can be used in a classroom to tea
Cortnee Hill
Age Group: K-4
Genre: Autobiography

What an amazing picture biography of Helen Keller's challenges and triumphs!! Understanding Helen Keller's life can be a bit challenging at this age but the author and illustrator condensed the complicated story into a readable picture book that is captivating for young readers. I really like how the author placed quotes throughout the book to portray what was happening throughout her life. At the end of the book the author also provides a sign language chart wh
Calihan Scott
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
* Personal Reaction: I found this book really interesting. I thought it was cool that throughout the book there are quotes of Helen Keller’s. The quotes help the reader get a better understanding of who she was. The illustration did a great job of showing what is being said on the page.
* Read Aloud: This book would be great to read aloud to the students. Not only would teachers be introducing who Helen Keller is but they could also use this book to explain that everyone is different and have di
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Helen gurgled and giggled in her crib. At six months, she crawled and said, "How-d'ye," and "wah-wah," for water. When she was one, she ran after a ray of sunshine. she loved the mockingbird's song and the sweet smell of climbing roses. But best of all was being on her father's laps and in her mother's arms.

Premise/plot: Helen's Big World is a picture book biography of Helen Keller. Nearly every spread in this picture book includes a quote from Helen Keller herself. The narrative
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brief biography of Helen Keller's life. I find her inspiring...but I find Annie Sullivan just as willingly spend hours reading Helen's textbooks at the expense of her own eyes, to be Helen's teacher and companion for 49 years. I liked the inclusion of some of Helen's own words throughout the text. My students were engaged and asked many questions as I read this book.

I also thought the illustrations were gorgeous.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent just like Rappaport's other picture book biographies. Covers Helen's entire life in brief, with realistic, beautiful paintings. Has quotes from Helen, and sources. Nice introduction to the famous person for young children.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this as an advanced copy. The cover has braille on it, which I think is wonderful. The illustrations are marvelous and the story also contains quotes from Keller. Goes beyond the books I was able to read about her as a kid. Includes history time line as well.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, deaf-reads, picture
I loved that Helen's adult life & social justice career is included in this story.
Andrew Wells
Plot Summary: This picture book biography explores through the life of Helen Keller. It starts out with talking about her birth and describing how her life was before the illness struck. When the illness struck, she had to relearn everything that she had previously learned. Helen struggled to understand life in general , until her friend/teacher named Annie came along. Annie taught Helen how to speak using sign language and how to read/write. Helen even went to college with the help of Annie. He ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport is a beautifully written and illustrated biography about Helen Keller, a woman who was both blind and deaf. Helen was born with hearing and vision, but lost it after she got very sick as a baby. When Helen was 7, Annie Sullivan became her teacher and through hard work was able to teach Helen sign language, how to read braille, how to read lips, and even how to write. Rappaport does a great job of exploring Helen’s life from start to ...more
Karen C.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller" by Doreen Rappaport is a great book meant to welcome readers into the life of an amazing and inspiring woman, Helen Keller. The book starts by introducing its audience to Helen as a baby, and explaining that at a young age, Helen lost her sight as well as her hearing due to an illness. Then Rappaport goes in depth into how Helen struggled to find a way to communicate until a teacher named Annie came into her life. Annie impacted Helen's life in a way ...more
Kelly Kline
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
1. What is the book about?
The book is about a young girl named Helen Keller. When Helen was two years old, she contracted an illness that left her blind and deaf. As Helen was growing up, she would often kick and scream at her parents out of frustration. Fortunately, Helen's family hired someone who would help Helen be able to communicate better with others, her name was Annie Sullivan. Annie helped Helen learn braille. Using braille, Helen could communicate more effectively with her parents. He
Kayla Heenan
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction:
For as long as I could remember I have always been interested in Helen Keller’s story. Growing up my next door neighbor who also happened to be my best friend was half way deaf so I have always had a soft spot for this disability. As I was reading this book I could not have been more amazed. Helen was both blind and deaf and how she handled her situation was incredible. I would for sure use this book in my classroom.
Purpose/Use in Classroom:
As a read aloud I would use this sto
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book begins with Helen being 6months being as happy and normal as can be. Then at 9months Helen received a illness that caused her to no longer see or hear. Then when she was seven a women named Annie came to help Hellen. She taught her by spelling out the names of objects on her palm. Months go on and Hellen is taught how to see with her fingers and how to spell a thousand more words. When Hellen is 8 years old she becomes famous because she is writing in sentences. She is now able to comm ...more
Elizabeth Libera
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen by Doreen Rapport is an auto biography picture book about Helen Keller's life. Helen was a normal little baby girl, who loved to laugh and spend time with her parents. At 19 months old, Helen became sick and ultimately lost her sight and hearing. It was a struggle for her to learn and live the life of a normal child. A teacher named Annie came into her life and helped her. She taught her how to read braille, which made Helen able to communicate. Helen started ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great biographical book with a perfect reality illustration. This book took about Helen’s Big World. Also, the story about the Helen life and the obstacles that she had, and how she overcomes with her blindness. Her perseverance to reach her goals in life and tried to be a positive person despite the difficulties in her life due to her physical disabilities. The young reader can learn many things from her life story such as being patient, have a hope.

I like the style of Doreen’s w
Monique Isaak
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
This book is a biography based on the life of Helen Keller. The story begins when she is a little girl and describes her life events until she passes away at the age of 87. The story explains how she overcame her physical disabilities of being deaf and blind and made many accomplishments over time. With the help from Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller was pushed to set her self-apart from others and remained determined. The story is strengthened with the use Helen Keller’s own voice used through quota ...more
Brooke Bradford
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Annotation: Helen Keller when she was born could do everything a normal baby could do, but when she was 19 months old Helen got really sick that caused her to go blind, deaf, and not speak. Helen had a difficult life trying to adapt to the world with only a sense of smell and taste. Although it was difficult for her she found a love for the world and this all started with her teacher Annie Sullivan. Annie helped Helen to use table manners, how to read, write, and most of all enjoy life. Annie wa ...more
The top GR review said, "Superior to almost all the longer children's biographies of Keller in that it doesn't shy away from her later life as a social activist." and I was sold.

However, I hadn't scrolled down to the review about the fake Braille on the cover and the pictorial misrepresentation of finger-spelling and Tadoma (placing your fringes on the speaker's lips, jawline, and cheeks) :/ (Though reading the book, both the picture and the text do mention touching the throat.)

I do like that qu
Marina Barajas
Doreen Rappaport’s picture book, “Helen’s Big World: the Life of Helen Keller” tells the inspirational story of Helen Keller and the obstacles she overcame due to her blindness, and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. This book is a biography as it is based on Helen Keller’s life from the moment she was a little girl until she passed away at the age of 87.Throughout the book a number of her quotes are incorporated to point out key moments in Keller’s life.

This biography story will help the students le
Michelle Cummings
Summary: Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller is the biography of Helen Keller, a woman that accomplished a lot in her lifetime despite being born both blind and deaf. This is a picture book written for younger children and gives readers a great introduction to the life of Helen Keller.

Genre: Biography

Classroom use: I would use this as an independent read for students and could have them read it to complete a research project on a person that made a difference in the world. I could also u
Kimberlee Gutterman
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
This book adapted a biography into a very well suited picture book for children. I really liked how on every page there was an actual quote from Helen Keller which went along with the part of her life that was on those pages. This biography in particular was very nice because it highlighted Helen's life rather than talking about her disabilities and all the sad things that happened to her. I think this is important for children to understand because they should know that a disability doesn't def ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-stories
1. Original 3 line summary: Helen's Big World is biography about Helen Keller and the struggles she's had to overcome. After recovering from an illness Keller is left blind and deaf. She eventually goes to live with Annie Sullivan who helps her learn that she is a strong and smart young lady. Throughout the story Rappaport introduces real quotes from Helen Keller.
2. Original 3 line review: I found this to be a really heartfelt and inspirational book. I have always loved learning about Helen Kell
Alyssa Becker
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller; written by: Doreen Rappaport; Copyright 2012, 36 pg.
*2015 Monarch Nominee*

This book is a touching story of Helen Keller's life. Many know of the hardships that Helen Keller faced in her life, but this book brings it to a new perspective. Not only does it tell the story but the illustrations of how Helen viewed the world without seeing, but the illustrations make it come to life.

This is a fantastic read not only for those who would like to know more ab
Leslie Sanchez
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, I had heard of Helen Keller, but I had no idea how inspirational her biography was. Her biography starts out from when she was a baby until she died. She talks about the hard time she had with learning to read, write, and speak.

I liked how it didn't just focus on her life but it included a very important person like her teacher Annie. It was a very humble and honest story, because in my opinion she might have not done what she had with out Annie’s determination. I espe
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Doreen Rappaport has written many books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, specializing in thoroughly researched multicultural history, historical fiction, retellings of folktales and myths, and stories of those she calls the "not-yet-celebrated." Among her recent books is Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received a Caldecot ...more