Whisper by Chrissie Keighery (Perry)
Fifteen-year-old Demi's world is shattered when she is left profoundly deaf by a sudden illness. Everything is different now, and Demi must learn to adapt to a new school, new friends and even learn a whole new language.Published July 2012
Whisper is a coming-of-age tale, about discovering who you are and where you fit in life. About friendships and first love and, most of all, learning to love the person you are.
Source: Author/Templar for honest review
I don't think that I have ever read anything about a deaf main character, and it definitely opened my eyes to people with disabilities. Demi's struggles are so raw and emotional and Chrissie handles them and the issues brought up in this book so well.
Demi starts going to a school for the deaf, and she meets other students, and we get a glimpse into their struggles. There are some who sign and speak, some who can read lips, some who can't, some who are non-verbal. As Demi got to know them better, so did I. Keisha was one of my favorite secondary characters. She is so bright and bubbly, and brings a neat perspective to the story.
As for Demi, I cannot imagine what it would be like to have hearing and then all of the sudden be plunged into a world without sound. But I do get an idea because of this story. Demi worked through some of her issues on her own, some with the help of her new friends, and some of them through her old friends.
Ethan is the love interest in this book, and he amazes me. He never made Demi's deafness and issue, and approached it with maturity that made me respect him all the more. Their romance was sweet and while it didn't take front seat to the story, I think that it added to the overall theme of Demi trying to figure out how to fit the separate pieces of her world into a beautiful picture.
I really love the imagery one of the characters, Stella, paints (well photographs) of Demi juggling the two worlds, the deaf community and the "hearies" as they call those who can hear. I also bring really appreciated the innocence and love that Demi's nephews brought to the story. One line almost made me cry:
"It doesn't matter if she's deaf," he says. "My aunty Demi can listen with her eyes and whisper with her hands."This is beautifully written and it never felt forced. All of the issues that arose seemed genuine and I think that the emotions and how the characters reacted were true to life. I empathized with them and wanted the best for them.
Do you know anyone who is deaf? Do you know any sign language?