I am Helen Keller
Written by Grace Norwich
Illustrated by Mark Elliott
I am Helen Keller by Grace Norwich is a fun, yet informative look into the life of Helen Keller. The language, font size, and layout of text accompanied by illustrations on nearly every page make this book completely accessible to readers at the fourth to fifth grade reading level and up. Because I am Helen Keller is written from a kid-like first person point-of-view and voice, readers are planted in Helen Keller’s shoes and drawn into learning why Helen Keller continues to be one of the most famous children throughout the world.
Norwich has done a superb job of researching Helen Keller’s life and pairing down both the key facts, as well as those that would most appeal to fourth and fifth grade readers. She has also organized and streamlined the information such that it is pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Norwich begins with an introduction of the important people in Helen Keller’s life through a graphic portrait and succinct bio of each person. She continues with a timeline of relevant events to ground readers in time and place. In fourteen short chapters Norwich covers Helen’s life from birth to death and complements her text with great visuals to keep readers engaged. Norwich sums up with a list of ten things you should know about Helen Keller and a second list of ten more things that are pretty cool to know about her. Kids, parents, and teachers will also find a useful glossary of words related to Helen Keller, as well as a list of places to visit, a bibliography, and an index to easily refer back to areas of interest.
I am Helen Keller is a new title in the I am Series and joins other interesting titles such as: I am Sacagawea, I am Albert Einstein, I am Martin Luther King, Jr., I am George Washington, and I am Harriet Tubman.
Every fourth and fifth grade reading list should include books from the I am Series. I cannot think of a better source of biographies that would make learning about key historical figures more entertaining.