Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4)

by Johanna Hurwitz

Paperback, 1997



Local notes

921 Kel



Random House Books for Young Readers (1997), Edition: English Language, Paperback, 48 pages. $3.99.


A biography of the blind and deaf girl who overcame both handicaps with the help of her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

Physical description

48 p.; 9 inches


0679877053 / 9780679877059



User reviews

LibraryThing member rikardh
Step into Reading book. Great for kids just breaking in to reading paragraphs and getting ready for larger chapter books. My daughter was able to read this with help in 1st grade, and she's read it countless times by herself ever since. A great introduction to Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.
LibraryThing member Cottonwood.School
A biography of a blind and deaf girl who overcame both handicaps with the help of her teacher, Annie Sullivan.
LibraryThing member KeriMullins
The book Helen Keller; Courage in the Dark id about a girl named Helen who was born in 1880. When Helen was a year and half she became sick with a high fever. After a few days the fever was gone but left Helen blind and deaf. Helen became a wild child. She scratched and yelled at her parents. She threw food at the dinner table. Helen's parents didn't know what to do. Helen's parents heard of the Perkin's Institution. A teacher named Annie Sullivan came to live with the Kellers and tought Helen how to communicate with her hand. Helen became very excited to learn. She went to college and then traveled the world being an inspiration to everyone with a disability.

I really enjoyed this book. It's an encouraging book that has a great message. Just because you maybe disabled doesn't mean you can't learn and change the world.

This would be a great book to read to you class if you had someone who was handicapped. It woul encourage that child to keep trying.
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LibraryThing member AmyPollard
A bio of Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf. As a child, she was wild and unruly because she didn't know how to express herself. Her parents eventually had a teacher, Anne Sullivan, come live with them and teach Helen. Anne taught her sign language and many other things such as how to feed and take care of herself and Helen eventually learned Braille at a different school. She graduated from college with honors and became a published author and many other achievements.

This book has taught me more about the story of Helen Keller, which has always been interesting.

In the classroom, this story could be used to teach students about overcoming obstacles whether they are physical or something else.
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LibraryThing member ac008233
This is a complete biography of the life of Helen Keller. It discusses her stuggles and challenges she overcame from birth to an elderly women.The book is an attribute to her and her accomplishments.
This book has fifty pages and crammes a lot of information in to a small book. It would be a geat read for a begining reader. However, it left me wanting to know more.
After reading this book it would be interesting to have a class blind fold themselves and not be allowed to talk for thirty minutes. It would really teach them what it must feel like for Miss Keller. A class discussion on that would be essential.
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LibraryThing member KaetlynBrennan
Helen Keller was sick when she was little because of that she became deaf and blind. Her parents did not know what to do with her, or how to control her. So she became a wild child. They took her to see Alexander Graham Bell and he told them to take her to an institute. There they found a teacher named Amy Sullivan. Amy taught Helen words and what they ment. Helen then went to school to learn brail and write. She also learn how to talk with her hands. Helen met many famous people during her lifetime.

I think this book is a very good way to teach younger children the story of Helen Keller. The story had many colorful pictures that matched the words. I would use this book in my classroom.

I would use this book in a unit about Helen Keller.
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LibraryThing member sarah_walker
"Helen Keller: Courage In the Dark" tells the story of American author, Helen Keller. Born July 27 1880 in Alabama, Helen began her life as a normal little girl. But when she was 1 years old, she developed a fever that left her deaf and blind. Helen became wild and frustrated because she could not communicate. Her parents did not believe that there was any hope for their child until they met Anne Sullivan. Anne taught Helen how to behave and taught her sign language by moving her fingers to form the letters. From this point on, nothing was impossible for Helen. She graduated from Radcliffe College with honors. She learned German and French, wrote books, and became famous all over the world.

Helen Keller defines the phrase “nothing is impossible.” When I first opened this book, I expected to find the same story that had been reproduced several times. But as I read, I realized that this was not your usual condensed Helen Keller story. The book is done in chapters which allowed the author to place more information in the book without overwhelming the readers. The simple writing style is easy for young readers to follow. The beautiful illustrations keep the reader engaged and add depth to this beautiful biography.

Possibly, with any grade level, I could teach minilessons on Braille or sign language. Students will then be able to somewhat enter Helen’s world. I could have older children write about a challenge that they had to overcome. They can share their story to the class or to a small group.
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LibraryThing member AshleyFletcher
Helen Keller was blind and deaf. She was not an easy child to deal with because she didn’t know how to express herself so she acted up. Eventually her parent got her a teacher Anne Sullivan. She taught Helen sign language to communicate with the world. She went to college and graduated.

I learned a lot about Helen Keller from this book and was very moved how she was taught so many things when her parents never thought she would.

In the classroom, I would have my children get in groups of two and blind fold each other and wear ear muffs. Then we would see how it is to be like Helen Keller. I can also have them do research papers on disabilities.
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LibraryThing member KelseyShackelford
It is a short story about Helen Keller's life. It walks you through all of her struggles and successes. It shows you that when you put your mind to it anything is possible.

Personal Reaction:
I really loved this book, I have always loved the story of Helen Keller. It is an easy and short way to read about her story.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1) Introduce students to different disabilities they can have, even have examples to show them, like blindfolds and ear buds.

2) Use this book to motivate students who are thinking they cannot do things, show them that she was able to overcome things she did not think she could and that they can too.
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LibraryThing member CaitlinJones
Helen Keller is a young girl who is born blind, mute, and deaf. She struggles with everyday activities and the story shows how her teacher is able to help her communicate through sign language.
Personal Reaction:
This story was very empowering even for a children's book. It would help the child see that even though she has a disability she is still able to live every day life.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. You can do different activities where the child is given the opportunity to experience having one of their senses taken away.
2. Discuss special needs and how to help those that show they need it.
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LibraryThing member BriannaLee
I like this book for three reasons. First, this book opens the minds of it’s readers to something they may have never thought about. Allowing the reader to think about the tough issues that others have overcome, making themselves successful and prosperous through hard work and dedication. For example, when a childhood illness leaves Helen Keller blind and deaf, Helen’s life seems hopeless. But her unconquerable will and the help of a devoted teacher permit Helen to triumph over incredible hardship. The book is based off of a true story which allows the reader to understand that life can be a challenge, but that should only make you work harder to accomplish your goals.
Second, the simple writing style is easy for young readers to follow. For instance, “Helen now knew how to express her thoughts. For the first time, she was happy.” The book is done in chapters which allowed the author to place more information in the book without overwhelming the readers. This allowed the reader to remain interested in wanting to finish the story because they would be pulled in by their interest and curiosity of finding out what happens to Helen.
Third, the beautiful illustrations keep the reader engaged and add depth to this beautiful biography. The pictures go hand in hand with what is happening in the story providing the reader with a visual to what they are reading. For example, the book starts off describing dinner time with Helen as dysfunctional and messy. On the pages we see Helen screaming and throwing food around the room, with cups spilling over onto the floor. Further along we see her learning how to properly use a fork and spoon. This image corresponds to the part of the text when her teacher Annie are practicing how to hold a spoon.
This book's main idea is overcoming differences that put you at a disadvantage. Life will always be challenging and for others it may be more difficult so one must never give up and try their best no matter what their given circumstances are. Where there is a will there is a way. As Helen Keller states, “The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
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LibraryThing member hemlock91
A well-written biography with pretty colored pencil illustrations. Simple sentence and paragraph structure, so could be accessible to earlier readers. Tells Helen's story from birth.

Includes a braille guide.
LibraryThing member pixysshaken
Great book to read aloud. I would have students stop me when they hear an adjective or adverb. To reinforce certain English language words.
LibraryThing member TameitriaJ
Helen Keller was born a healthy baby girl, but when she was just over a year old she became sick with a very high fever. A few days passed and the fever broke. Although she wasn't sick anymore, the high fever left her unable to hear or see. Becoming blind and deaf turned the once happy child into a wild child. She kicked, scratched, and screamed at her parents. During dinnertime she stuck her hands in others plates. Helen's parents didn't know what to do with her so they sought the help of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Mr. Bell suggested they take her to the Perkins Institute for the Blind. There they met Anne Sullivan. When Anne arrived Helen was almost 7 and very unhappy. At first Helen would not listen or obey Anne but with a lot of patience she began to learn. This beautiful story of courage ends with the many accomplishment of Helen Keller.

Personal Reaction:
I love this story. It teaches kids that even though they may have a disability, that shouldn't keep them from learning and succeeding in anything they would like to do.

Classroom Extension
1. Have students make their way through an obstacle course blindfolded so they can experience what its like to be blind.
2. Have students write a paragraph about what they think Anne felt like when she was young and unable to hear, see or communicate.
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LibraryThing member LeviLloyd
Short children's literature story of Helen Keller's incredible journey. Briefly goes through her life to show her struggles and her triumphs. Show that though courage and strength and no matter your disability, anything is still possible.

Personal Reaction:
As a parent, this story can really pull a tear. To suffer along with her parents through her struggles, but then praise through her achievements. This one is staying with me and in my library.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Great book for students who are struggling in school and with low self-esteem or confidence. Could be a motivator type of story to most students. Can show that anything is possible if you give it all you got.

2. Could use this as an introduction to putting students into her world. Giving them a blindfold and earmuffs, and having them go from place to place with in the classroom or outside. This will give them insight and possible respect to those with this disability.
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(24 ratings; 3.9)
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