Waiting for a Sign


“Terrible things happen, and good things happen. They both, I’d come to realize, could happen to people I love. They both could happen to me.” Shelly has a lot to learn about life, and her freshman year of high school will bring many challenges and lessons along with it…challenges that she just might not be ready for. In between navigating the usual high school stuff like first crushes and best friends, Shelly also has the unique challenge of connecting with a deaf brother who keeps distancing himself from the family. When Ian first went away to attend Hawthorne School for the Deaf, Shelly missed her big brother terribly. Now that the school might be closing the year before his graduation, though, she’s not too sure that she wants him back in the house all the time. Ian, once her cherished friend and confidant, has become moody and frustrated, skipping his sister’s birthday, criticizing his parents’ sign language abilities, and hiding out in his bedroom behind closed door. It starts to feel like only a miracle can bring the siblings back together again. As it turns out, the reason for their reconciliation is not as miraculous as it is tragic, and Shelly and Ian will need each other more than ever if they hope to overcome the obstacles that are ahead of them. Will Shelly get the sign she’s looking for? Will she be able to reconnect with her brother and learn why Hawthorne is so important to him? Esty Schachter’s novel offers a great look inside the deaf community, and she handles Ian’s challenges in a very informed and insightful way. Waiting for a Sign is a quick and simple read with a lot of heart, and older readers will appreciate the realistic relationship portrayed between siblings. 134 pages, ISBN:692286985, Ages 11-13, Recommended by Molly Crumbley, librarian, Maryland, USA

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