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The Miracle Worker: A Play

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  33,304 ratings  ·  419 reviews

Twelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation.

Then Annie Sullivan came. Half-blind herself
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Pocket (first published 1956)
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Haisem Yousuf Twelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those…moreTwelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation

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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"No One Could Reach Her"

I went to this play and read this book when I was in grade 4. It had a huge impact on me. It was all I could talk about for weeks. I wanted to go see it again and again. It will always be one of my favorite plays. Another friend just posted a review of Helen Keller's autobiography and I look forward to reading that one too. I would love to see this play with my daughter.

I remember watching as Helen got so upset when she couldn't express herself and fought those who tried
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite plays... the story of Anne Sullivan breaking through the darkness and silence of Helen Keller's world to teach her the very concept of language. It reads incredibly well, but if you must see it in action, check out the classic film version with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke and absolutely DO NOT WATCH THE REMAKE. It is craptacular to the extreme. I just finished a run at the Hale Center Theater in Orem playing Helen Keller's mother Kate and it positively changed my life forever ...more
Himanshu Karmacharya
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
"For two weeks. I’ll give you two weeks in this place, and it will be a miracle if you get the child to tolerate you. "

Tasked with an extraordinary challenge, Anne Sullivan set out to teach Helen Keller, the fundamentals of language and discipline. Inspiring and heartwarming, The Miracle Worker makes the readers feel like miracles are indeed real.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a fun read but it could be dry and reading it as a script from a play was a little strange for me.
Emily Dybdahl
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-lit
I think I must have read this play back in middle school or high school, but then forgot I read it. It is very much worth a re-read. It is such a beautiful and moving true story and it means more to me now that I have little children of my own and think about it from a mother's perspective. I want to read more of the story of Annie Sullivan now as well and what happened to her poor little brother.
I'm so glad I decided to (re-) read this one!
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread, I read it in 8th grade for English class and then we got to go see the play. I reread this for a prompt on a challenge I'm doing and the prompt was a book you read in school. I loved this just as much as I did in 8th grade. Such a great story.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Patricia by: probably a librarian
if annie sullivan and helen keller can do what they did.....well, stop complaining.
My paternal grandmother lived in Kansas City in the early 20th century. The music halls in Kansas City were cheap and accessible in those days, and many widely-known figures would come to play in Kansas City.

Helen Keller was one of those players. My grandmother said that Helen had to have an interpreter present on stage, not only to convey questions to her, but to interpret her spoken words, since Helen never really mastered speaking well enough to be understood by strangers. At the times my gr
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, play
I read this years ago. I have always been interested in Helen Keller's life. I find her to be a remarkable lady. "The Miracle Worker" is a play. a well known one that still has productions today. it is about Helen when she is six years old. blind and deaf and acts like a "wild child" Annie Sullivan is hired to teach her. over the month she tries to teach Helen language throughfinger spelling. Helen must also learn manners and to behave in a more acceptable way. a tall order for Annie Sullivan wh ...more
Esther | lifebyesther
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
- focuses on Anne Sullivan and her early efforts in educating Helen Keller
- encouraged me to add Keller's autobiography to my tbr

- extremely moving, extremely powerful.
- the added part about Keller's half-brother, James, was interesting. I wasn't expecting that.
- Similarly, the part about Sullivan's brother, Jimmie, was extremely moving and artfully set up.

- the story was the compelling aspect, not the writing.
- I wish the pacing had been different. The whole narrative was
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This play brings back a lot of memories for me. I acted in a production of it in high school. I played a bit part, spoke a single line, and was on stage for one scene. But it was a big thrill to be involved in it, and gave me a love of acting which persists to this day.
Carrie Poppy
Oct 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is the story of Helen Keller who was born a healthy little girl, but after falling ill with a childhood ailment she becomes Blind, Deaf and Mute. I found the story very touching, especially as someone who works with children. The Keller family hires Annie Sullivan to come and help teach Helen, and they are surprised to find Annie herself suffered from Blindness and is only 20 years old. Annie had her work cut out for her as Helen had been so spoiled and lacked all forms of discipline as the ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

film only
pub 1956
autumn 2012
play dramatisation

The film, starring Anne Bancroft came out in 1962. Forty years on, those methods would not be allowed.
The full film is on YouTube:

Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wanted something short to nibble on and because I knew a little about Hellen Keller and Annie Sullivan I decided to pick it up. I wasn't prepared for this to be so intense. Even if it's a play it's has such an intense force to it and it's very moving. I would love to see this play someday. Have started picking up plays recently but haven't really watched them in real life ...more
Iman Danial Hakim
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book deserves a long and extensive review; and I will do it in the near future.
Denice Miller
This book is play written about Helen Keller's early years, her struggles, and the success she finally experiences because of the determination of her noble Miss Sullivan. Great book. Then you can see the movie with Patty Duke as Helen. ...more
Haley S
Well, it's kind of biography and kind of historical but it is SUPER good!! I really liked it!! I recommend this one to everyone!!! A must read! ...more
Lexi C.
This was surprisingly very good. I don't usually like nonfiction but this story was incredibly written and expressed the characters very well. ...more
andrea ✨
Read this for english class. It was pretty good. Hellen Keller is a person I'm very interested in and this play was nice for getting some more information on her earlier years of life and learning! ...more
Caroline Henry
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a fantastic play. I immensely enjoyed it, and I think that may be because I read the book Helen Keller in 3rd grade. I remember how fascinating it was to read about this girl and how she learned to sign and speak when she couldn’t hear or see.
This play didn’t give anything about her life after her childhood, but it doesn’t need to. It shows how Annie helps Helen to learn things to learn to see with words when she can’t for herself, and that is a very beautiful thing. I pray that I can
L.K. Simonds
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I was probably twelve or thirteen when I read Mr. Gibson's account of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, but there are scenes I still remember as if I read them yesterday. One such scene is the showdown between Sullivan and Keller in the dining room of the Keller's big old Southern home. The teacher ran out the family who'd coddled Helen all her life, so she could try and make the child eat breakfast like a human being, rather than an animal. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, cold scramble ...more
TheBookWorm🐛 🐛
This book was...interesting. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but I don’t think I would sit down with it and read it in my own spare time. It’s one of those books that you can read once, then not have to read again. You can get the message from it, and you can remember it for the rest of your life without ever having to go back and read the book. Most older fictional books are like that, well they are to me. It was interesting to learn about the life of Helen Keller. How she was able to go fro ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: no long monologues; a lead role with no speaking parts so that someone who has trouble memorizing lines can still be featured; extremely poignant; inspirational perspective on "seeing with words"; balance between male and female characters; would not require editing for content.

Cons: complicated staging; annoyingly grandiloquent stage notes (seriously - who uses "proffer" and "deposit" instead of "give" and "place" in stage notes anyway); not sure if dogs allowed in theater.

Iman and Alia,
Dec 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
The miracle worker was a good but bad book to me because I feel like it was about someone’s life and was not appealing to me. It was about this person that was deaf blind and could not talk. There were three people Kate Keller and a doctor. The infant was very sick and they thought the baby would die. Then one night they were in the house and the other was outside. Kate screams and Keller runs in the house to see that the baby could not see, or hear. Then a while later they were talking to Anni ...more
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
I read this in middle school and I remember liking it, though in retrospect I wonder if I was emotionally intelligent/mature enough to be invested in it like I could be today.

oh hey William Gibson!
Carolyn Page
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: scripts
A great play about Anne Sullivan's early days and break-through with Helen Keller. Three acts, liquid scene changes using a split stage and lighting effects. A lot of non-verbal acting is used, necessitating more stage direction than normal. I see why it's a classic. ...more
Shailyn Stuckey
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Had to read this for school. Happy to say I enjoyed it.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for school and it was so good. As I continued to read I kept wanting to know more about Hellen Keller. Her story was so interesting and the accomplishments she had. Anne Sullivan was also an amazing character to read about and both their stories really inspire people.
Heidi Lil' Chip
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the beginning was a little slow, but I really enjoyed this one!
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Around the Year i...: The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson 1 16 Sep 18, 2016 07:29PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Gibson was a Tony Award-winning American playwright and novelist. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1938.

Gibson's most famous play is The Miracle Worker (1959), the story of Helen Keller's childhood education, which won him the Tony Award for Best Pla

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