"As a boy, my father learned to speak with his hands. As a man, he learned how to turn lead-type letters into words and sentences. My father loved being a printer."
The setting is New York in the 1940s. Each day the narrator, a young boy, watches as his father goes off to work in the noisy printing factory where presses the size of small houses produce the daily newspapers. But the boy's father only hears the machines' loud pounding and rumbling as vibrations through the soles of his shoes. He is deaf.
Although his father communicates with a few other deaf printers through his hands, he feels largely cut off from and ignored by his hearing co-workers. Then when a silent deadly fire erupts in the noisy pressroom, it is up to the father to save his fellow workers. But how will he tell them of the danger when they cannot hear him?
Author Myron Uhlberg draws on his own childhood experiences as the hearing son of deaf parents to create this dramatic, evocative story. The narrative reflects a respect for deaf culture and the unique gifts each individual possesses. Historical details are deftly rendered and brought to life in the full-color illustrations. In this unusual tale, a father and son show their love for each other, as well as their dedication to a craft that creates words and sentences. Henri Sørenson's extraordinary paintings dramatize the powerful text, which illuminates the many ways we connect with one another.
About Myron Uhlberg
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Published August 1, 2003
by Peachtree Pub Ltd (J).
Education & Reference, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction.