Show Me a Sign
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About the Author
Ann Clare LeZotte is the author of the Schneider Family Book Award-winning novel Show Me a Sign, which was named a best book of the year by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library and American Indians in Children's Literature, and was a finalist for the New England Independent Booksellers Association and the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards.
A passionate advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as well as underserved youth from marginalized communities, Ann worked for many years as a youth librarian in Gainesville, Florida. Ann says, During the pandemic, I've kept in touch with Deaf library youth at home with families who don't sign. The isolation is real -- there will be a long-lasting gap. It's getting harder to tell them all their dreams can come true. But continuing Mary Lambert's story, the darkness and the light, shows them that they're still counted in. In her free time, Ann enjoys yoga and walking her dog Perkins.
* LeZotte weaves threads of adventure, family tragedy, community, racism, and hearing people's negative assumptions about Deaf people into a beautiful and complex whole. Mary overcomes her own ordeal with the support of her community, but in the process she discovers that there is no silver bullet for the problems and prejudices of the world. There is no hollow inspirational content to be found in this tale... LeZotte acknowledges the racial tensions among the English, black, Irish, and Wampanoag residents of Martha's Vineyard, creating a dynamic that Mary interacts within but cannot fix... A vivid depiction of Deaf community along with an exciting plot and beautiful prose make this a must-read. -- iKirkus Reviews/i, starred review
* LeZotte crafts a moving tale of 1805 Martha's Vineyard that highlights issues still relevant more than 200 years later, including racism, ableism, and prejudice... these themes add nuance to the expertly crafted story of Mary, her response to her situations, her courage, and her hope that she will reunite with the community she loves. Exceptionally written, faced paced, and full of topics that will inspire deep discussion. A valuable addition to secondary elementary or middle school collections. -- iSchool Library Journal/i, starred review
* LeZotte's engrossing historical novel explores prejudice and racism through the eyes of 11-year-old Mary Lambert, who is deaf. ... LeZotte, who is deaf, deftly connects the islanders' prejudice against the Wampanoag to the mainlanders' view of deaf individuals as lesser; Mary's progressive attitudes feel modern while aligning with her character's sensibilities. -- iPublishers Weekly/i, starred review
iShow Me A Sign/i is the rare book by a Deaf writer illuminating the Deaf experience for young readers. LeZotte takes us on an extraordinary journey that Deaf readers will surely identify with, and which will come as a revelation for hearing readers, reminding us that, as LeZotte says in the book, We are fine as we are made. iShow Me A Sign/i is a triumph for everyone! -- Brian Selznick, creator of iWonderstruck/i and the Caldecott Honor Book, iThe Invention of Hugo Cabret/i
There is so much to love about iShow Me a Sign/i, I hardly know where to begin. LeZotte's storytelling is engrossing, and Mary is an endearing, resilient hero. This book blew me away. I can't wait to share it! -- Alex Gino, Stonewall Award-winning author of iGeorge/i
iShow Me a Sign/i celebrates our differences and our sameness, our past and our future. Spend time in Mary's world. You'll be better for it. -- Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Award Winner, iHello, Universe/i
Precise and thoughtful... LeZotte's depiction of language is striking -- the reader sees the difference in conversations in spoken English and MVSL -- and she thoughtfully addresses tensions among the white, Black, and Wampanoag people who share the island. LeZotte, who is Deaf, makes the point that nothing should stand in the way of building community and seeking equality, a sentiment that resonates today. -- iBooklist/i
An interesting and very enjoyable work of historical fiction about a time period and topic that has rarely been written about... LeZotte's writing is fresh, crisp, and exciting. The way she portrays the deaf community and the nuances of sign language make the story all the more informative and readable... The information in her [back matter] notes is so intriguing. -- iSchool Library Connection/i, Highly Recommended
A remarkable story. -- iMartha's Vineyard Times/i