Waiting for a Sign

Esty Schachter. Lewis Court Press, $9.95 ISBN 978-0-692-28698-2
In a touching story that explores sibling relationships while offering insight into the Deaf community, 15-year-old Shelly has felt estranged from her older brother, Ian, ever since he enrolled at Hawthorne School for the Deaf, coming home only on weekends. Though Shelly can capably speak ASL (which Schachter writes as italicized dialogue), Ian has shut her out. Accepting that she and her brother may never be as close as they once were, Shelly clings to her outgoing best friend, Lisa. But Hawthorne may be closing its doors permanently, Ian is acting especially angry and distant, and his growing coziness with Lisa also builds tension between the siblings. Schachter (Anya’s Echoes) deftly conveys the complexity of being a Deaf teenager with hearing family members, as well as the close bonds that can form among individuals united for a common purpose. A tragedy that further disrupts Shelly’s life initially comes across as an attempt to add weight to a slender story, but Schachter’s handle on character development and honest descriptions of the grieving process allow the event to resonate meaningfully. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 03/09/2015
Release date: 11/01/2014
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