Review Blog

Aug 13 2009

My silent world by Nette Hilton and Vincent Agostino

cover image

Lothian Books, 2009. ISBN 9780734410375.
(All ages) Recommended. A deaf girl has a rich inner life. She knows music and feels it 'in the rush and thud' on her chest. She can see the birds in the park and feel the 'thrust of the waves'. She knows about everything, but she is afraid of the unseen monster that fits in her ear - a cochlear implant, but she is brave and knows that she will learn sound too.
What a demanding but outstanding story this is. I needed to read it aloud first before I quietly concentrated on the beautiful text, initially disregarding the illustrations as I worked out what the story was telling me. Reading the free verse carefully I discovered the rhythm of the words and ideas. I found Agostino's very busy, bright illustrations, dominated by the figure of the little girl, and the different colours of the text, to be a distraction on the first read, but very compelling as an extension of the story on further examination.
This story will give readers an understanding of the richness of the world that deaf children can inhabit and could lead to some interesting discussions about how it could be better or different not to be able to hear. It gives a wonderful sense of all the feelings and experiences that being deaf can bring and how it must be difficult to get used to all the noise that surrounds us today. It deserves a place in every library.
Pat Pledger

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