Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

Title Show Me a Sign
Author Ann Clare LeZotte
Age Recommendation 9-13
Published by Scholastic Inc

Deafness is not an affliction. The only thing is stops me from doing is hearing.”

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Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte is a story about a brave and curious girl who cannot hear living on Martha’s Vineyard in 1805, a poignant tale about a hero who shows readers that sometimes you have to save yourself.

Everyone is Mary Lambert’s community knows how to sign as a quarter of her village is deaf.
Born deaf, 11 year old Mary Lambert has a hereditary condition passed down through descendants of one of the earlier settlers there.

Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage.

The people of the island live in harmony and make life work but it’s not all perfect. There are prejudices in their community and injustice towards the Wamppanog people who are native to the island, Mary takes notice.

Life on the island takes a turn when a young scientist from far away has taken notice of this island, he comes to study how this deaf community live and communicate. He sees deafness as an infirmary, why some have it and others do not. Frustrated with dynamics on the island and bothered by the scientists using her as am experimental subject, Mary becomes increasingly frustrated with the adults in her life.
Then tragedy rocks her community, and Mary cannot help. In fact, Mary cannot be found.
Taken away from the island, Mary must find a way to survive and make it back to her family.

Marthas Vineyard is a real place along with the deaf community who lived there. Martha’s Vineyard influenced the creation of the American Sign language.

The prose are beautiful, and bit mature for young readers. Adversity is a running theme throughout the book. Part adventure, part historical fiction, this own voice middle grade book is fascinating.