Singing Hands by Delia Ray

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Synopsis

As one of three hearing daughters of deaf parents, 12-year-old Gussie Davis is expected to be a proper representative of Saint Jude’s Church for the Deaf in Birmingham, Alabama, which is run by her father. So when Gussie starts to hum through signed services in the summer of 1948, Reverend Davis assumes she merely wants to sing out loud and sends her to a regular church downtown. But Gussie’s behavior worsens, and she is not allowed to go on a much-anticipated trip; instead, she must help her father at the Alabama School for the Deaf.

Rebelling against the strict rules of the school, Gussie finally confronts the difficulties and prejudices encountered by the deaf community, all while still trying to find her own identity in the worlds of both the hearing and the deaf.

Drawing on firsthand accounts of her mother’s own childhood with deaf parents, Delia Ray provides an inside look at the South in the 1940s. Lively humor, unforgettable characters, and meticulous research combine to make this a standout novel that offers keen insight into what it means to be hearing in a deaf world. Author’s note.
 

About Delia Ray

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When DELIA RAY was little, she and her sister and their cousin invented the Brave Girl Club as a way to make the long, hot summers in Tidewater, Virginia, a little more exciting. They dared each other to perform all sorts of daunting challenges-swims across an algae-covered, snake-infested pond, for example, or solo trips to the second story of an old, abandoned farmhouse hidden deep in the woods. Delia says she still uses her Brave Girl training today whenever she's conducting research for her books, which have taken her on adventures from the Yukon Territory in Canada to cemeteries spread across the state of Iowa. Between adventures, Delia lives in a house overlooking the Iowa River with her husband, three daughters, and a strange-looking mutt named Griff, who came from the animal shelter and provided the inspiration for C.B. in this book. Here Lies Linc is Delia's third novel for young readers.
 
Published May 15, 2006 by Clarion Books. 261 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It is 1948 in Birmingham, Ala., and lively Gussie, age 12, explains that her comeuppance for humming during her deaf-minister father's church services is the start of what turns out to be one of the worst and best times of her life.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Singing Hands

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