Oh my word. This book is crazily good. I highly recommend it and slap myself on the head for not reading it sooner. I started it Saturday night, and couldn’t tear myself away from it. I ended up staying up for two extra hours reading it. I think I have a much better understanding of braille just from the cover. I was watching a movie while I held the book, and I realized that I could not decipher between different bumps. I can’t imagine anyone actually having the ability to feel that specifically with their fingers.

I’m not sure if this book even needs an introduction. Miss Spitfire wound me into its pages so quickly. Most people know about Helen Keller, but not as much about her teacher Annie Sullivan. Annie had a hard life from the beginning, with an uncaring father, and a brother who died at six years old. Half-blind, Annie had nowhere to go except Perkins Institute for the Blind. After painful operations, Annie finally could see but had nowhere to go. She stayed at the Perkins Institute under Dr. Howe and learned about teaching the deaf and blind.

When Perkins can no longer accommodate Annie Sullivan, she takes a job with the Kellers in Alabama. She’s heard that their deaf-blind girl is impossible to control, but she does not know the extent. Annie’s world is shaken when Helen ran out the doors of Ivy Green.

Not even Captain Keller can control Helen, raging like a beast. Reaching Helen will take more than Annie knows, and what she learned at Perkins might not even help. Helping Helen is nearly impossible, sometimes Annie just wanted to give up. Helen had been brought up to get everything she wanted, but what Helen needed only Annie could give.

Whew. This book brought me to tears. I felt so close to Annie by the end of the book. I really admire Sarah Miller for taking on such a challenging premise. There have been so many books written about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, it must be intimidating to write another book. The book was also painfully honest- Miller spared nothing to describe Helen before speech. I’ve seen The Miracle Worker, but I was young. I don’t think I ever realized how hard Annie had to work to help Helen. I’ve gone into a bit of a craze about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan now. I’ve ordered the books my library has about them, and I think I can dig up my old school report on them.

I am so excited to see what Sarah Miller writes next. I read on her website that she is writing a book about the last imperial family. I can’t wait. I really couldn’t find anything that I didn’t enjoy about Miss Spitfire, except I was a bit confused about how Annie got from the almhouse to Perkins school. I’m sure I just missed it because I’m a fast reader.

No school today! What a little bonus. It’s more of a cold day than a snow day because we only have three inches of snow. It is about negative three degrees outside without wind chill. Let’s hope for another “snow” day tomorrow. Snow days = more time to read = more book reviews 😀

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