Friday, November 2, 2012
Review: Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
By Joseph Lambert
Published 2012 by Hyperion
Here is another version of the story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, two women who accomplished extraordinary things and forged a unique and enduring friendship, despite the hardships they faced.
I've been sort of on a graphic novel kick. There is just something that is so appealing about them lately, most likely because I am feeling seriously overwhelmed by the MUST READ ALL THE BOOKS phenomenon that strikes towards the end of every year. Graphic novels are usually quick reads but with stories just as wonderful and fulfilling as traditional novels, so I sort of find them a balm when I get truly overwhelmed. This one came in on our new cart and it immediately caught my eye. Of course everyone knows the story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller - but I liked that this was framed through Annie's eyes and dealt with an episode that I wasn't familiar with - that of Helen's trial. Helen was tried for submitting a story to various literary publications which she insisted was original but was, in fact, found to be plagiarized, at least in part, from a previously published tale. It was fascinating to read about this incident, though it's just one small part of this story. The artwork is stunning in that it is so perfectly suited to the story. The style changes when we are seeing things from Helen's perspective and it works beautifully. This is a wonderfully told story that may introduce readers to things they hadn't known previously. Lambert's art is perfect here and he really brings the story to life.