Virtual Read Aloud, Optimism Within, Helen Keller. Image of magnolia blossoms.

Virtual Read-Aloud: “Optimism Within,” Helen Keller

Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) was an American author and activist best known for her advocacy work for disability rights. Her authorship includes numerous books, essays, and speeches, most notably her biography The Story of My Life.

Keller published Optimism: An Essay in 1903, dedicated to her teacher (presumably Anne Sullivan, who served as her beloved instructor and friend throughout her life). The first section, “Optimism Within,” explores the nature and expression of optimism, and how it is expressed within the human spirit.

Want to read along? Click here to read the essay on Project Gutenberg.

Sound effects included in this video were downloaded from and incorporated in accordance with the Creative Commons Attributions License. No copyright infringement and/or commercial usage is intended.

Thank you to the Friends of the Bloomfield Township Public Library for sponsoring the closed captioning of this video.

A new read-aloud will be published every month on the Adult Services Vimeo page, so keep an eye out for new titles! Material selected for these read-alouds are in the public domain and are sourced from Project Gutenberg, so that listeners can read along if they would like.