The Touch of Magic by Lorena Hickok


The book I chose to read is called The Touch of Magic written by Lorena
A. Hickok. The story was about Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller\'s wonderful
teacher. I had never heard of Anne before I read this book, but while looking
in the library my mom explained to me who she was and she seemed like she would
be an interesting person to do it on. I was right.
Anne Sullivan Macy was born on April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills,
Massachusetts. At the age of nine she was taken to the outskirts of Tewksbury,
Massachusetts with her three year old brother Jimmie. There, they were sent to
the Massachusetts State Infirmary. Not because they were mentally sick or
anything, but because they had nowhere else to go.
Their mother had died of tuberculosis and their father had left them.
None of their relatives wanted them because Annie was nearly blind and Jimmie
had something wrong with his hip and had to walk with a crutch. Annie\'s one
year old sister was taken right away by her aunt and uncle because she was
darling. Nobody knew where to send them so that\'s how she ended up at the
infirmary.
A few months after they had arrived, Jimmie got deathly ill. The doctor\'
s couldn\'t do anything for him and unfortunately he past away. Annie took this
unbelievably hard for she had realized that Jimmie was the only thing she had
ever loved.
Annie\'s attitude then worsened even more because she felt she had
nothing left. She would throw hissy fits at the nurses and kick and scream.
Believe it or not, this is one of the character traits that I most admire about
Miss Macy. She was aggressive and didn\'t let anyone tell her what to do. Even
though she could hardly see, she lived her own life in her own little world.
Another trait that I admire about her is that she was a dreamer. I know
I am a big dreamer and can get lost in my thoughts sometimes, but her dreams
weren\'t like mine. Annie dreamt of being able to see, but most often dreamt of
going to school. Annie wanted to learn but had no one to teach her.
One day, about a year after Jimmie\'s death, the State Board of Charities
came by to look around. Annie was so excited because she heard they might be
able to send her to school. When they were leaving she jumped in front of them
and yelled out that she wanted to go to school. The men asked her what was
wrong with her and she explained to them that she was nearly blind.
A few days later, after Annie thought she had blown her chance of ever
going to school, a girl from the ward came saying that Annie was to go to school.
Annie was ecstatic and couldn\'t wait to go. This is the first major event that
I think led to Annie\'s success.
The day finally came and Annie arrived at the Perkins Institution for
the Blind in South Boston around noon. She didn\'t like it at first but later
became quite popular. While the other girls stayed in nice cottages, Annie
stayed in an old cottage with fifty year old Laura Bridgman. Laura was blind,
deaf, and dumb.
Laura Bridgman had gone to that school forty some years earlier and was
taught the manual alphabet. This is where you communicate by spelling words on
each other\'s palms and then feel an object to know that the word spelled is the
word felt.
Annie was simply fascinated with this way of communicating that she
learned the manual alphabet. That\'s why I think Laura was the person who had the
greatest influence on Annie. Annie would spend hours “talking” with Laura. She
would tell Laura what was going on in school and things around them and Laura
would share her thoughts and feelings back to Annie.
Annie was good in school and her teachers saw that. She had a hard time
with Braille but after a lot of hard work, she got it. I think that is another
admirable trait about Annie. Her eagerness and willingness to learn. an
education was what she wanted all her life and her dream finally came true.
After she learned Braille, Annie would search the library for books. She loved
to read.
Summer quickly came and all the girls, even Laura, left for home. The
teachers refused to send Annie back to Tewksbury so one of them was