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Children's Corner
in association with Barnes and Noble


This page has books with characters who have difficulty speaking or who are mute, but not  hearing impaired. If you would like more information on any of these books, or to order, click on the book title. To suggest a book that would fit into this category email me.  Happy reading!

Gleitzman, Morris.  Blabber Mouth and  Sticky Beak . For ages 8 to 12. From Publisher's Weekly:  "Two ebullient novels from Australia showcase an unusually engaging heroine who has an equally unusual condition: Rowena Batts, the new girl in school, can't speak. As she explains in a letter to  her new classmates at the start of Blabber Mouth, ``I was born with some bits missing from my  throat. Apart from that, I'm completely normal.'' Longing for a friendly overture and having been humiliated straight away by the class bully, Rowena expects (correctly) that even greater  embarrassment awaits her at the hands of her widowed father, an eccentric with a flair for making a spectacle of himself. In the sequel, Sticky Beak, Rowena's kind teacher, Ms. Dunning, has married Rowena's father and is pregnant. Rowena fears she'll be replaced in their affections by a more perfect sibling. Gleitzman (Two Weeks with the Queen) shows his comedic talent in both stories while also conveying Rowena's occasional, wrenching frustrations. Rowena's circumstances may be very particular, but her brio in surmounting an almost universal set of fears should win a wide audience indeed."

Hill, Elizabeth Starr, Liu, Lesley(Illustrator). Bird Boy . For ages 8 to 12. From Kirkus: " Chang, mute from birth but able to imitate bird sounds, is thrilled when his father, a cormorant fisherman, decides he's old enough to help with the ``Big Catch,'' a night when thousands of fish gather in one particular spot on the Li River in southern China. Chang does so well that he is then allowed to help raise a cormorant chick. When a local bully, Jinan, steals it, Chang must stand up for himself, rescue the bird, nurse it back to life, and protect it. The story is almost incidental to the           fascinating world the author depicts: Chang's family lives on a houseboat and uses trained cormorants to catch the fish for them. The details of this, and of the raising of the cormorant chick, are enthralling, and outside the experience and knowledge of most US children. As an introduction to a remote, intriguing world, this novella will capture the imagination and curiosity of young readers."

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This page last updated August 17, 1999.