Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Am Helen Keller

I Am Helen Keller. Brad Meltzer. Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. 2015. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I am Helen Keller. When I was little, I was just like you. I loved to play. I loved my dog. And I loved seeing all the bright, beautiful flowers. I also loved copying people.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book biography of Helen Keller. It includes narrative--which I liked for the most part--and speech bubbles--which I could take or leave. Meltzer has Keller speaking directly to young readers--or listeners. "Close your eyes and block your ears. I couldn't see anything. Or hear anything. That's right. Nothing." That page is completely black except for the white text. The book celebrates teaching, learning, reading, and writing. Also THINKING. The concept of the braille alphabet is introduced and readers can feel the letters.
I may not be able to see, but I have vision. I may not be able to hear, but I have a voice.
My thoughts: This one is written in the first person, for better or worse. The message of the book is good. It's hard to argue with the positive, hopefulness of it. But I can't help comparing it to Helen's Big World. That picture book included quotes from the real Helen Keller. And it was beautifully written and illustrated. This one may pack a LOT of information, but, it is not beautifully illustrated. It bothers me that Helen stays the same size no matter if she's a year old, six years old, or fifty-six years old. Her face, her hair, EVERYTHING stays the same. It's just not REGULAR.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 2 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10



© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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