DEAF CHILD CROSSING by Marlee Matlin

DEAF CHILD CROSSING

Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Matlin’s intimate insights into being American, female, and deaf infuse the character of Megan, a charming, dynamic, and cantankerous girl, excited that a potential friend her age has moved next door. Her new, hearing neighbor, Cindy, has just moved into the most compelling experience of her life, as she becomes the immediate, sworn, off-and-on best friend of an uncommonly accomplished lip-reading girl who doesn’t take no—or any type of criticism—lightly. The characters are envisioned in common-place settings living out the American preadolescent experience in an upper-middle-class lifestyle, one where the world that is built for hearing people bends to every strategic move made by Megan. Her experience is only made possible by intense effort and her family’s well-adjusted, mature, and kind approach to an active life. Megan has tasted of every good character-building experience, except summer camp; despite her clear objection and her fear of being bored—or worse: ignored—she manages to place herself at the center of everyone’s attention. The plot suffers when Matlin loses sight of its pace and inserts overlong explanations of apparatus used by individuals with hearing disabilities; because the information is more informative than descriptive, it impedes the pace which slows to a dead stop. Though the usefulness of the information is high in terms of knowing facts about the common ways that deaf people function, Matlin’s story goes beyond bibliotherapy, so it’s unfortunate that the simple and rather leaden text will only appeal to a small group. Megan’s rather unique character begs a sequel, but for a broader range of readership. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-82208-1
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002




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