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The Story of My Life
By Helen Keller

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The Story of My Life

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The Story of My Life
By Helen Keller
Dover Large Print Classics, (2002)
ISBN: 0-486-42249-5
Genre: Autobiography

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - November 28, 2002

Helen Keller was an amazing woman who has been my role model for as long as I can remember. She never let adversity stand in her way, never felt pity for herself, and more over, never let anyone feel pity for her. Helen was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. When she was only 19 months old, she suffered from a fever that left her both deaf and blind. Although she was not mute, her deafness deprived her of the ability to learn to speak in the same manner as a hearing child. For a number of years, her parents cosseted Helen, and she readily grew into an unmanageable hellion. However, thanks to her naturally inquisitive mind, her indomitable spirit, and a number of outstanding teachers, Helen learned to read and write, and to speak. In due course, she went on to attend Radcliffe college and then went on to follow a splendid career as a writer and speaker. When Helen died in 1968 she was already a well-respected figure and role model for individuals the world over - this book is the story of her amazing triumph over the numerous stumbling blocks that life set before her...

Helen wrote The Story of My Life while she was attending Radcliffe college, and it was first published, in 1902. In this autobiography, she describes the first twenty-two years of her life. She examines what her life was like before she learned to communicate and the tremendous breakthrough that she achieved with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. And how, once she learned that the signs that Annie was fingering into her hands had meaning, she exploded with an unstoppable quest to learn everything she could about everything. Helen moto was "There are no handicaps, only challenges." Throughout this book you will find that Helen truly believed and followed the dictates of this moto as she, time and time again, overcame insurmountable obstacles.

The Story of My Life gives the reader a glimpse into not only Helen's life and thoughts, but it also offers a glimpse into her family's life and the major impact that her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan had on everyone in the family. Also discussed in great detail is the life-long friendship that developed between Helen and her teacher, and which was to last until Annie's death in 1935.

In this work Helen also discusses the various people who were instrumental in her education, and the special training she received at the Perkins School for the Blind. It was at this school that Helen, for the first time, was able to meet with other children who were dealing with the same challenges that she was.

When Helen graduated from Radcliffe in 1904, she became the first deaf and blind individual to graduate from college! Best yet, she graduated cum laude. To say that this story is inspirational is an understatement. But it is also more than simply inspirational as it provides a glimpse into the heart and soul of a woman who was infused with an indomitable spirit and moral certitude that ensured that she never doubted but that she would succeed in whatever she set her mind to - just as long as she was willing to put the necessary work behind the task. If anyone was ever willing - it was Helen, and her story will teach you that, with a little effort, anything is possible!!


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