The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

It's been awhile since I've been able to participate in the Zonderzkidz Kidz Review Krew for books.  As my own kids have gotten older, I was doing less children's blogging, so it wasn't until I started a book blog that I realized that there would be more options.

I was really excited to see that there were two YA titles on the latest list from Blink YA books and I knew they would be good ones to read and review here.  I received The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais and The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy a couple of weeks ago and merged them into my reading list.

About The Silence Between Us:

Deaf teen Maya moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating—and also surprising when some classmates, including Beau Watson, take time to learn ASL. As Maya looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing, not even an unexpected romance, will derail her pursuits. But when people in her life—deaf and hearing alike—ask her to question parts of her deaf identity, Maya stands proudly, never giving in to the idea that her deafness is a disadvantage.

My Thoughts:

Moving across the country is hard for everyone, but for Maya, it is so much more.  She will be attending a typical public school for the first time since losing her hearing, having attended a school for the deaf in her home state.  Her plans are simple--attend school, get good grades, get into the college of her choice, and just get through it all.  But meeting new friends makes a difference, and Maya is forced to confront the perceptions of her abilities from others.

Most reviews cite The Silence Between Us as an "Own Voice" book, having been written by an author who is deaf as well.  Gervais explains Maya's perspective quite well, her concerns about her new school, her questions about those who become her friends, and what her options are for the future.   In many ways, Maya is portrayed as the typical teen, yet there are many more questions she must face in order to pursue her dreams.  

There's more to Maya's story that I would have liked to know.  As she stated she lost her hearing due to illness as a young teen, I would have been interested to know more about her life in New Jersey prior to her move--adapting to her new circumstances, her first school for the deaf, etc.  There seems like there could be an entire second novel on Maya alone that leads into where The Silence Between Us begins.