THE SOUND OF SILENCE by Myron Uhlberg

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Growing Up Hearing with Deaf Parents
Age Range: 9 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Picture-book author Uhlberg (A Storm Called Katrina, illus. by Colin Bootman, 2015, etc.) tells his story of growing up with Deaf parents in Depression-era Brooklyn.

Evoking a pleasant nostalgia with its strong sense of place, the episodic narrative follows Myron Uhlberg, a young, white Jewish boy, and his family from Myron’s birth to the day he leaves for college. Through anecdotes both funny and poignant, the author explores his complex relationship with his father. Forced to act as an interpreter by the age of 5, Myron feels trapped between the worlds of child and adult as well as Deaf and hearing. This dilemma leads to both humor and pain as Myron navigates the considerable responsibility. The author presents a nuanced portrayal of Deaf life. Myron’s main link to the Deaf world is his parents, but other Deaf adults make appearances, hinting at a spectrum of Deaf experiences. The author’s decision to write his Deaf parents’ speech phonetically could be prejudicial for readers who lack further context, and there is the occasional biased cliché of disability and culture (due to their deafness, he claims his parents’ sole source of entertainment is books; seeing a friend in an iron lung causes him to reassess his self-pity). Additionally, in contrast to the author’s first memoir, Hands of My Father (2009), published for adults, the title of this adaptation feels like a trite appeal to hearing readers. However, the warmth, love, and playfulness of the narrative prevail.

A sweet, satisfying memoir about family bonds and finding one’s place in the world. (Memoir. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8075-3146-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2019




MORE BY MYRON UHLBERG

ChildrenTHE SOUND OF ALL THINGS by Myron Uhlberg
by Myron Uhlberg
ChildrenA STORM CALLED KATRINA by Myron Uhlberg
by Myron Uhlberg
ChildrenDAD, JACKIE, AND ME by Myron Uhlberg
by Myron Uhlberg

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenDEAF CHILD CROSSING by Marlee Matlin
by Marlee Matlin
ChildrenEL DEAFO by Cece Bell
by Cece Bell
ChildrenWONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick
by Brian Selznick