the Words in my Hands
Part coming of age, part call to action, this fast-paced novel about a Deaf teenager by a Deaf author is a unique and inspiring exploration of what it means to belong.
Smart, artistic, and independent, sixteen year old Piper is tired of trying to conform. Her mom wants her to be “normal,” to pass as hearing, to get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind—like survival.
Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate for her Deafness in a world made for those who can hear. But when she meets Marley, a new world opens up—one where Deafness is something to celebrate, and where resilience means taking action, building a community, and believing in something better.
Published to rave reviews as Future Girl in Australia (Allen & Unwin, Sept. 2020), this empowering, unforgettable story is told through a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage, and drawings. Set in an ominously prescient near future, The Words in My Hands is very much a novel for our turbulent times.
Asphyxia is an artist, writer, public speaker, avid art-journal creator and the author of the much-loved junior fiction Grimstones series in Australia. Deaf since the age of three, Asphyxia learnt to sign when she was eighteen, which changed her life. She is now a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. She raises awareness of oppression of Deaf people and what we can do to change this. Her free online Auslan course has had over 15,000 students. Asphyxia also loves to share her art-journaling processes, helping others benefit from its powers for self-expression, problem-solving, planning, goal-tracking and self-esteem (see Pinterest: Asphyxia1974). She lives on a small farm where she combines food-growing with art. The Words in My Hands combines all these passions.
“Anyone who is dDeaf...will immediately feel a connection and a sense of belonging while reading Asphyxia's book.” —Stacy Abrams, founder of the #WhyISign campaign •
Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens 2021
• A Kirkus Best Book of 2021
“Asphyxia, herself Deaf and an artist, has done an outstanding job of relating the experience of being Deaf in this near-future story of a young woman grappling with her identity and finding her voice. The authenticity of this experience and that of being a teen navigating changing friendships and first love make Piper a relatable protagonist whose inner strength will inspire.”- Booklist, *starred review, 11/01/21
“A standout must-read for teens and adults.”
- School Library Journal, *starred review, 10/21
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