Thursday, March 29, 2012

Top of the Heap!

This week, Lizzy and I have been chatting about different points of view and how historical fiction can really pull you into another time and place. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis told the story of a boy without a mother or father living in the 1930's. Lizzy and I talked about how Bud's life was so different from ours, yet we could both relate to his story through his voice. One of the most amazing things about people, is our ability to communicate with each other by combining perspective with voice. When we open up and listen to each other, our worlds expand. We came up with two stories that show the progressive nature of the human spirit throughout our history.

This week's top of the heap: perspective and voice, historically speaking...


Helen Keller 1880-1968
Imagine that you are in the dark. There is no sound, only textures and vibrations. You can't see with your eyes, but you can use other senses- smells, taste, touch. Now, try to learn how to do everything you know how to do without being able to see or hear. I think Helen Keller's story is amazing. The movie, The Miracle Worker really stuck with me. I think she was an inspirational woman who had the courage to never give up, no matter what the challenge. ~ F


"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." ~Helen Keller


Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller of Tuscumbia. At the tender age of 19 months, she was stricken with a severe illness, which left her blind and deaf. At the age of six, her parents took the half-wild, deaf and blind girl to see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell. Because of her visit, Helen was united with her teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan on March 3, 1887.

After Helen's miraculous break-through at the simple well pump, she proved so gifted that she soon learned the fingertip alphabet and shortly afterward to write. By the end of August, in six short months, she knew 625 words. By age 10, Helen had mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and even learned to use the typewriter. By the time she was 16, Helen could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and to college. Helen Keller became one of history's remarkable women. Wherever she appeared, she brought new courage to millions of blind people.


Helen Keller spent the remaining years of her life at her home in Connecticut. During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments.



Books can teach you so much! I love that I can get a different perspective on life from seeing the world through a character’s eyes. One book that I feel I learned the most from was Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillem Robinet. It is a story that takes place during the bus boycott in Alabama shortly after Rosa Parks refused to move her seat. I learned so much about the boycott and how hard it was to carry out for everyone, but they stuck with it because they knew things needed to change. Reading this book made me see how much our world has grown and I am glad that people are treated more equally today. I know we still have a ways to go, but it is nice to see how far we have come! We are all different in some way and it is important for us to be tolerant of our differences (even better if we can embrace them). I especially like the message of perseverance and non-violence that are so much a part of this beautiful tale. ~L


14 comments:

  1. I think I might just about cope with being deaf or blind (although I pray it never happens), but both? What a remarkable woman. Walking to the bus-rider blues sounds like something I would like to read.

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    1. Barbara- I agree with you! How amazing that Helen Keller was able to overcome both of these major struggles. WOW! One of them would be challenging! Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues is excellent. The characters are so easy to like and relate to!

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  2. Helen Keller is a huge inspiration on discovering what we are capable of doing, of always testing our seemingly closing-in limits. I'm with Barbara, Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues sounds like something I'd enjoy!

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    1. Hi Claudine! Thanks for stopping by. People can be so utterly fantastic, sometimes you can't help but feel proud to be one of them : ) ~ F

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  3. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post. Helen Keller captured my attention at 8 yrs old. What an amazing and remarkable woman. She was one of a kind for sure. I have not heard of the second book, but it is certainly one I would like to read, The Help really opened my eyes on this topic.

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    1. Heidi- This post just went through (it got marked as spam for some reason- and we know that isn't the case). Helen Keller was a remarkable woman. How wonderful that you were able to learn about her at such a young age.

      I recently read The Help and it opened my eyes, too!

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  4. Helen Keller's achievements have always amazed me. No matter how tough our lives are, there always seems to be someone whose life is tougher, yet has the courage to percevere. Great post.

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  5. My 10 year old son is highlighting Helen Keller for his hero project. Everyday he comes home amazed at what she accomplished. hard to complain about anything after learning about her. thank you for this!! i really can't wait to show him. Your blog resonates so well with my kids!!

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  6. Hi momto8! Thanks so much for stopping by! Lizzy and I always love hearing from you and your fun family : ) What a great hero project to work on! Helen Keller is such a historically inspirational person to learn about. ~ F

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  7. I have always been inspired by Helen Keller, but I've never heard or seen her! Thanks for finding this video...it was so fun to watch! She was an amazing person.

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    1. Ginny- I am so glad you enjoyed the video. Helen Keller is such an inspiration!

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  8. Helen Keller is just amazing. Wow! I didn't know much about her before reading this post. I am just amazed by her. Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues sounds great. I added it to my list!

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    1. Trey- Glad you were able to learn more about her from our post. Helen Keller is AMAZING! Enjoy Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues! :)

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