Helen’s Big World
Rappaport, Doreen. New York: Hyperion Books, 2012. 9780786808908
Quantitative Reading Level: Reading Level 4.9, Lexile 770
Qualitative Reading Analysis:
I would rate this as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Informational Text”. The text is organized as a narrative but each page also has quotes from Helen Keller. These quotes are in a different font and larger but that may needed to be pointed out to readers. It would help readers if they had some background knowledge about Helen Keller.
This book takes a look at Helen Keller’s life from birth to death. It is interspersed with quotes from Helen Keller which provide insight into the woman she became. The book does not dwell on her disabilities but highlights what she was able to do and accomplish in her life. The illustrations capture the famous and not so famous moments in her life. Readers will come away wanting to know more.
Content Area: Reading/ELA
Content area standard:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
Compare and contrast different accounts and material about Helen Keller’s life.
Author’s Website: http://doreenrappaport.com/helens-big-world/
Illustrator’s Website: http://matttavares.com/helensbigworld.html
Newsreel of Anne Sullivan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv1uLfF35Uw
Video of Helen’s Life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbCk_DQCOp4
I have always enjoyed reading about Helen Keller and this picture book is beautiful. It doesn’t spend a lot of time with her early years which a lot of books do, but focuses on her relationship with Anne Sullivan and how Helen was able to experience the world and participate in so many experiences. This is a wonderful book and Matt Taveres illustrations are beautiful.
Subjects/Themes: Overcoming - disabilities
2012 Lupine Award – Picture Book. This is an award in Maine. It is for a book by a living author or illustrator who lives in Maine or a book which celebrates Maine. Matt Taveres, the illustrator, lives in Maine.
High Interest Annotation: This is a beautiful picture book of Helen Keller’s life with some of her own words.