Muffled

Jennifer Gennari. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-53446-365-3
With the start of fifth grade comes new responsibilities for 10-year-old Amelia: she is allowed to walk to school and visit the Boston Public Library alone, but she also has to give up the noise-canceling headphones that she previously relied upon to manage her noise sensitivity. On the first day of school, Amelia’s father, who has the same sensitivity, gives her a pair of fluffy purple earmuffs to ease the transition. Used in conjunction with the mental math she does as a coping mechanism, the earmuffs help to keep classroom and city noise at “five bars out of ten,” but frustrate her mother and have an alienating effect in the classroom. As the class begins music lessons, Amelia struggles to settle on an instrument and retreats into the world of books until a solo library trip inspires her to pick up the trombone, and she embarks on a new friendship with fellow trombonist Madge. Gennari (My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer) effectively works Amelia’s experience onto nearly every page (“each noise bounces around the walls of my head like a rubber ball”), making each of her hard-won victories resonate powerfully. A gentle portrait of a child learning to navigate her world. Ages 8–12. Agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5344-6366-0
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