Wednesday, June 15, 2022
I was instantly enthralled with the characters and learning about deaf culture. Charlie has an implant - it was supposed to "cure" her of her deafness - but she is a teenager and is no better at speaking or hearing then when she was a kid. When her parents divorce she convinces her dad to take ASL classes with her and to enroll her into a deaf school. Trying to communicate shouldn't be so difficult, but the implant just made her life harder. At River Valley School for the Deaf she soon immerses herself in learning ASL and getting to interact with deaf peers - something completely knew to her. At first Charlie is overwhelmed with how fast and well everyone communicates, but she slowly catches up and starts making friends. Told from the perspectives of Charlie, one of her peers and school crushes Austin, and the headmistress who is hearing but fluent in ASL - it is also interspersed with deaf history, ASL signs and so much more. The variety of deafness and family life was really interesting and probably representative of the deaf population in the US. I learned a ton about a language and culture with which I was completely unfamiliar.