Determined to help with Emma, Jilly begins to teach herself sign language and is dismayed that her family is not on board. In fact the doctor they choose seems cold and inflexible in her approach to Emma’s treatment. A turning point is when Jilly and her family attend a workshop for families who are members of the Deaf community and meet Derek and his family. All share their stories and come away comforted and informed.
Jilly comes from a mixed race family. She is White and her beloved aunts are lesbians, one Black and one White. Jilly looks to her aunt to help her confront two family members who make racist comments during a holiday dinner. She learns a lot about both subtle and blatant forms of bigotry and when she stands up to her uncle and grandmother you want to cheer.
While learning how to support her family and friends, Deaf culture and the reality of Black families’ fear for their children’s safety become an important part of her heart.
Tessa's Picks, 5th-6th grade, Character driven, Contemporary fiction, Family life, LGBTQ+, Issues fiction, People of color.