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SAIL ME AWAY HOME

From the Show Me a Sign series , Vol. 3

Fans will be pleased with this third installment in a delightful series.

Mary Lambert returns for a journey that takes her to London and Paris in this follow-up to Set Me Free (2021).

It’s 1810 and Mary, a deaf white teenage girl, is the teacher in her village on Martha’s Vineyard. In her world, deaf and hearing people live and work together, and nearly everyone knows Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language. As in the previous books, Mary leaves home, this time to travel with missionaries to Europe and learn how schools for the deaf are run there. Though this experience is far less harrowing than her first two adventures, she still encounters audism at every turn, ranging from condescension to an attempt to sell her to a workhouse. LeZotte’s prose is as lovely and descriptive as ever, vividly depicting Mary’s world as well as her inner life, which is plagued by the traumas of her previous experiences. The author continues to comment on not only audism but also varied prejudices and colonization. Without turning the story into a lecture, she depicts the benefits of bilingual education for deaf students and weaves Mary into Deaf history as she comes into her own as a deaf educator. The open ending does leave space for Mary to grow in the minds of readers, but it feels comparatively underwhelming and unresolved. This book may be enjoyed on its own but is better appreciated as a continuation of Mary’s story.

Fans will be pleased with this third installment in a delightful series. (additional information) (Historical fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9781338742503

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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HOLES

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this...

Sentenced to a brutal juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn't commit, a wimpy teenager turns four generations of bad family luck around in this sunburnt tale of courage, obsession, and buried treasure from Sachar (Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, 1995, etc.).

Driven mad by the murder of her black beau, a schoolteacher turns on the once-friendly, verdant town of Green Lake, Texas, becomes feared bandit Kissin' Kate Barlow, and dies, laughing, without revealing where she buried her stash. A century of rainless years later, lake and town are memories—but, with the involuntary help of gangs of juvenile offenders, the last descendant of the last residents is still digging. Enter Stanley Yelnats IV, great-grandson of one of Kissin' Kate's victims and the latest to fall to the family curse of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; under the direction of The Warden, a woman with rattlesnake venom polish on her long nails, Stanley and each of his fellow inmates dig a hole a day in the rock-hard lake bed. Weeks of punishing labor later, Stanley digs up a clue, but is canny enough to conceal the information of which hole it came from. Through flashbacks, Sachar weaves a complex net of hidden relationships and well-timed revelations as he puts his slightly larger-than-life characters under a sun so punishing that readers will be reaching for water bottles.

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-374-33265-5

Page Count: 233

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

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WONDER

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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