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Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, in 1805, over a hundred years later, many people there -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage. But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment. (Written by a deaf author and based upon a true story.)
Eleven-year-old knuckleball pitcher Vivy Cohen, who has autism, becomes pen pals with her favorite Major League baseball player after writing a letter to him as an assignment for her social skills class.
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp.
Twelve-year-old Iris has never let her deafness slow her down. A whiz at fixing electronics, she has always felt at home in the world of wires and vacuum tubes. School, on the other hand, isn't so simple. Iris is the only Deaf student in her classes, and she finds herself frustrated by the way people interact with her deafness, whether it's her teacher talking down to her or an overly helpful classmate signing childlike ASL in her face. During science class, Iris learns about Blue 55, the loneliest whale in the world. Saddened by the animal's inability to speak to other whales, Iris uses her tech skills to come up with a plan to communicate with Blue 55. One small problem: the whale is swimming off the coast of Alaska, nearly three thousand miles from Iris's Texas home. But nothing will stop Iris, and with her Deaf grandmother by her side, she sets out on a trip to meet Blue 55 and make sure he's finally heard.
Sixth-grader Emilia Torres struggles with ADHD, her controlling abuela, her mother's work commitments, her father's distance after returning from deployment, evolving friendships, and a conflict over school redistricting.
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?
Van has always been an outsider. Most people don't notice him. But he notices them. And he notices the small trinkets they drop, or lose, or throw away--that's why his collection is full of treasures. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground world full of wishes and the people who collect them. Apparently not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences--and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world's wishes--and they may not be the good guys, after all.
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