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The Silence Between Us

The Silence Between Us

by Alison Gervais

Narrated by Chloe Dolandis

Unabridged — 6 hours, 37 minutes

Alison Gervais
The Silence Between Us

The Silence Between Us

by Alison Gervais

Narrated by Chloe Dolandis

Unabridged — 6 hours, 37 minutes

Alison Gervais

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Overview

Moving halfway across the country to Colorado right before senior year isn't Maya's idea of a good time. Leaving behind Pratt School for the Deaf where she's been a student for years only to attend a hearing school is even worse. Maya has dreams of breaking into the medical field and is determined to get the grades and a college degree to match, and she's never considered being Deaf a disability. But her teachers and classmates at Engelmann High don't seem to share her optimism.

And then there's Beau Watson, Engelmann's student body president and overachiever. Maya suspects Beau's got a hidden agenda when he starts learning ASL to converse with her, but she also can't deny it's nice to sign with someone amongst all the lip reading she has to do with her hearing teachers and classmates. Maya has always been told that Deaf/hearing relationships never work, and yet she can't help but be drawn to Beau as they spend more and more time together.

But as much Maya and Beau genuinely start to feel for one another, there are unmistakable differences in their worlds. When Maya passes up a chance to receive a cochlear implant, Beau doesn't understand why Maya wouldn't want to hear again. Maya is hurt Beau would want her to be anything but who she is-she's always been proud to be Deaf, something Beau won't ever be able to understand. Maya has to figure out whether bridging that gap between the Deaf and hearing worlds will be worth it, or if staying true to herself matters more.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

06/17/2019

Gervais (In 27 Days) uses her own experiences of hearing loss to lend authenticity to this novel about a teenage deaf girl starting over at a new school. Straight-forward Maya Harris, 17, was born with hearing but became deaf after an unexpected illness. Following her family’s relocation from New Jersey—and the school for the deaf where she was comfortable—to Colorado, Maya must attend a hearing school and worries that she’ll struggle to succeed and fit in (“It was not as if I publicly announced I was Deaf—my interpreter and the signing and my hearing aids kind of made that obvious”). New friends smooth the way: mentor Nina Torres is helpful, and overachieving good-guy Beau Watson attempts to learn ASL. But a lack of university interpreters jeopardizes Maya’s dream to attend college and then work in the medical field, and tension over cochlear implants develops in her budding relationship with Beau. Maya at times comes off as more self-involved than self-assured, but Gervais adroitly pulls readers into her world—conveying ASL through all caps and spelled-out words—as well as her work navigating the deaf and hearing worlds and her awareness of who she is. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)

author of The Thing with Feathers and Meet the Sky Mc Call Hoyle

At its heart, The Silence Between Us is as much about learning to open our minds as it is about learning to open our eyes and ears.

Kelly Anne Blount

A spectacular follow-up to In 27 Days, Gervais has written a beautiful contemporary YA novel featuring a strong female lead who isn't willing to change herself to fit in. A heartwarming own voices story about moving to a new school, making friends, and falling in love.

Midwest Book Review

A unique and deftly written novel showcasing a strong deaf character and how she deals with all that her situation entails, 'The Silence Between Us' is a compelling and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover.

author of Hurt Go Happy Ginny Rorby

Alison Gervais' The Silence Between Us, not only captures the anxiety most young people feel when they've been uprooted from their community of friends, but in Maya's case, it's exacerbated by the fact she is deaf and newly planted in a hearing school. As nervous as Maya is, her wonderful sense of humor enlivens the story for the reader. Gervais has a perfect grasp of the challenges facing Maya and fleshes them out empathetically. Her portrayal of Maya and the pitfalls she faces, in my opinion, is spot on. More subtle is Maya's natural defensiveness even against those students who attempt to befriend her, throwing up barriers when she suspects pity as their motivation.

Christina June

A spirited story about a girl trying to find herself and her place in the world. Gervais' writing is sure to inspire readers to always stand up for who they are.

Booklist

Gervais deftly renders both the nuanced, everyday realities of life with disability and Maya's fierce pride in her Deafness, delivering a vibrant story that will resonate with Deaf and hearing audiences alike.

NPR

The Silence Between Us is eminently un-put-down-able.

YA and Kids Book Central

This is a great YA contemporary (clean) romance that follows Maya as she navigates a new school and plans for her future. The addition of representation by a Deaf character was really beautifully done. Highly recommend for people looking for a sweet, engaging, and educational romantic read.

Shelf Awareness

Alison Gervais (In 27 Days), herself Hard of Hearing (Ho H), portrays Maya as frustrated by setbacks yet exuberant in her pride as a member of the Deaf community. The everyday discrimination Maya faces doesn't weigh her down—'Discrimination? Welcome to my world.' Gervais depicts signed dialogue in the 'choppy English' characteristic of ASL, immersing the reader in Maya's life. The Silence Between Us is a boon to young adult literature, helping to remedy the shortage of Deaf protagonists with the spitfire Maya and her momentous self-confidence. The Silence Between Us is a boon to young adult literature, helping to remedy the shortage of Deaf protagonists with the spitfire Maya and her momentous self-confidence.

Booklist

Gervais deftly renders both the nuanced, everyday realities of life with disability and Maya's fierce pride in her Deafness, delivering a vibrant story that will resonate with Deaf and hearing audiences alike.

author of The Thing with Feathers and Meet the Sky McCall Hoyle

At its heart, The Silence Between Us is as much about learning to open our minds as it is about learning to open our eyes and ears.

School Library Journal

06/01/2019

Gr 7 Up—Moving halfway across the country and changing schools senior year would be hard enough for anyone, but for Maya, moving from a Deaf school to a hearing school is one adjustment too many. At her Deaf school, people didn't stare or shout at her, and all the misconceptions about the Deaf didn't rear their ugly heads whenever she was signing to her interpreter or trying to lip-read. And then there's Beau, who makes it his mission to learn to sign to her the first day of school. Maya assumes he's one of the "populars" who only feels sorry for her and is trying to make himself look good. Besides, Maya doesn't have time to make new friends. She is focused on getting into a good respiratory therapy program in college so she can help people like her little brother Connor, who has cystic fibrosis. Can Maya let go and trust someone to care about her just as she is? Gervais has written a captivating novel that sheds light on how hearing and Deaf cultures make assumptions about each other or are stereotyped, woven into a teen love story. American Sign Language is utilized throughout the book, with Maya's thoughts and words easily discernible. Teens will relate to the issues of parental influence, peer pressures, and first loves, but also revealed is a deeper understanding of what it means to be different in a world where sameness is the standard. VERDICT A solid addition to middle/high school fiction that allows for deep discussion about stereotypes concerning disabilities.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173611192
Publisher: Blink
Publication date: 06/03/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews