THE GIFT OF THE GIRL WHO COULDN'T HEAR by Susan Shreve

THE GIFT OF THE GIRL WHO COULDN'T HEAR

Age Range: 9 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A compact, tender look at the awkwardness of adolescence, with a fairly insightful presentation of a best friend who happens to be deaf. Eliza is in crisis. She has been looking forward to the seventh-grade musical for years and has always known she was a shoo-in for the lead; now she is changing, within and without- -pimply, uncharacteristically sullen, and suddenly overweight, she decides not to audition, while her deaf friend Lucy hopes unrealistically for a starring role. Eliza agrees to help Lucy practice, in the process trying to unravel her feelings about herself and the world. Shreve's spare, first-person/present-tense narrative gives a clear perspective on Eliza's insecurities and her road back to self-confidence. The girls' friendship is based on tacit, long- standing acceptance of each other's strengths and weaknesses; Lucy's deafness is handled matter-of-factly, though some details (e.g., her obliviousness to the other girls' cruel teasing) don't ring quite true, even as products of Eliza's less-than-perfect powers of observation. Still, a mostly perceptive, easily read brief novel. (Fiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-10318-9
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1991




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