Winner of the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award ∙NPR Best Books of 2020 ∙Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2020 ∙School Library Journal Best Books of 2020 ∙New York Public Library Best Books of 2020 ∙Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2020 ∙2020 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist ∙2020 New England Independent Booksellers Award Finalist
* A must-read. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
More than just a page-turner. Well researched and spare... sensitive... relevant. -- Newbery Medalist, Meg Medina for the New York Times
A triumph. -- Brian Selznick, creator of Wonderstruck and the Caldecott Award winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
* Will enthrall readers, but her internal journey...profound. -- The Horn Book, starred review
* Expertly crafted...exceptionally written. -- School Library Journal, starred review
* Engrossing. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
This book blew me away. -- Alex Gino, Stonewall Award-winning author of George
Spend time in Mary's world. You'll be better for it. -- Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Award Winner, Hello, Universe
Deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting Own Voices story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century. This piercing exploration of ableism, racism, and colonialism answers the call to dig deep, examine core beliefs, and question what is considered normal.
Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, over a hundred years later, many people there -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage.
But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a live specimen in a cruel experiment. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability.