Miss Spitfire- Sarah Miller

Written By: Kellie - Sep• 16•11

Synopsis: Annie Sullivan was little more than a half-blind orphan with a fiery tongue when she arrived at Ivy Green in 1887. Desperate for work, she’d taken on a seemingly impossible job — teaching a child who was deaf, blind, and as ferocious as any wild animal. But Helen Keller needed more than a teacher. She needed someone daring enough to work a miracle. And if anyone was a match for Helen, it was the girl they used to call Miss Spitfire. -Goodreads

Review: I learned of Sarah Miller’s debut novel ‘Miss Spitfire- Reaching Helen Keller’ while searching the internet for information about her more recent ‘The Lost Crown’. Between these two books there is no question that Sarah Miller is a great author with a passion for history. Most of us know the story of Annie Sullivan and her student Hellen Keller, so breathing life into this story for a new generation is no small feat.

The novel focuses on Annie and Helen in their first few weeks together. Helen is a spoiled, willful child with no discipline and Annie’s entire future hinges on being able to reach her. Although the stakes are especially high since she would have no where else to go if she cannot figure out how to teach six year old Helen, she is equally headstrong and truly empathizes with the frustration she knows her charge must be feeling. As a reader I could easily connect to Annie Sullivan, and only through her connect to a girl who would grow up to be come a household name.

If I can fault this story anything it would be that I wish it hadn’t ended quite so soon. I won’t giveaway the ending here but anyone who knows the story will be able to guess fairly early on what the climax of the story would be. I would have liked to see a little more follow up, to see how Helen’s personality and the relationship between the two main characters developed from that pivotal point.

Overall though, a beautiful story that I would recommened to anyone. I don’t know for sure, but I think this book was written for the 9-12 age group, so for a lot of people it will be a pretty quick read but still totally worthwhile. I can’t wait to see which historical figure Sarah Miller lends her talented voice too next.


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  1. This sounds awesome. Thanks for the great review.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This book was amazing. i loved learning more about Helen Keller from Annies side of the story. This was a wonderfull book and i would recomed it to anybody.

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