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Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, over a hundred years later, many people there -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage.

But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability. It will make you forever question your own ideas about what is normal. 


Ann Clare LeZotte is the author of the Schneider Family Book Award-winning novel Show Me a Sign, which was named a best book of the year by NPR, KirkusReviews, School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library and American Indians in Children's Literature, and was a finalist for the New England Independent Booksellers Association and the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards.

A passionate advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as well as underserved youth from marginalized communities, Ann worked for many years as a youth librarian in Gainesville, Florida. Ann says, During the pandemic, I've kept in touch with Deaf library youth at home with families who don't sign. The isolation is real -- there will be a long-lasting gap. It's getting harder to tell them all their dreams can come true. But continuing Mary Lambert's story, the darkness and the light, shows them that they're still counted in. In her free time, Ann enjoys yoga and walking her dog Perkins.

* "A vivid depiction of Deaf community along with an exciting plot and beautiful prose make this a must-read." -- Kirkus Review, starred review

* "Engrossing." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The rare book by a Deaf writer illuminating the Deaf experience for young readers.... A triumph." -- Brian Selznick, creator of Wonderstruck and the Caldecott Honor Book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

"This book blew me away." -- Alex Gino, Stonewall Award-winning author of George

"Spend time in Mary's world. You'll be better for it." -- Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Award Winner, Hello, Universe





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