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Tag: ginny rorby

What Would They Read?: Abby from NCIS

NCISI have watched and loved NCIS from the show’s beginning in 2003, and my favorite character has always been Abby Sciuto.  She’s smart and funny and not afraid to be herself, even if “herself” isn’t what people expect when meeting a computer and science expert. Someone as accomplished and confident as Abby surely has developed her own taste in reading, but if she were to ask me for book recommendations, this is what I’d offer her:

The Martian by Andy Weir (2015 Alex Award) is a science-packed story about a failed Mars mission. Abby would understand the science behind Mark’s attempts to get himself back to Earth, and she might even have some other suggestions for things he could try in order to survive on the red planet.

Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby (2008 Schneider Family Book Award) chronicles the life of Joey, a 13-year old who is missing out on a lot of things because she is deaf and her mother will not let her learn sign language. She meets a man who is teaching a chimp to sign, and through them Joey is able to find her voice. Abby’s mother was deaf, so Abby and Gibbs occasionally communicate using sign language.  That, and the science aspect of this story, would appeal to Abby.

pink_wilkinsonPink by Lili Wilkinson (2012 Stonewall Honor Book) follows Ava as she trades in her anti-establishment goth persona for a “good girl” look involving lots of pink. Ava finds it difficult to maintain her good-girl guise, though, just as Abby felt uncomfortable when [temporarily] forced to follow a strict dress code at work.

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil features a science whiz named Josie who gets trapped in an alternate universe and has to use her knowledge of physics to return to Earth. The complex science discussed in this book, along with the paranormal/mystery aspect, would definitely appeal to Abby.

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden takes place in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and in addition to a setting which Abby would love, the paranormal elements would appeal to her love of all things Gothic.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Characters in YA Fiction

YA books with characters who are deaf or hard of hearing, or live with family members who are deaf, are few and far between, but they’re out there! These books have all the good stuff: first love, heartbreak, peer pressure, growing pains … but with the added perspective of teens who experience life in a diverse community.

Read my Lips Read My Lips by Teri Brown

Serena will do just about anything to fit in at her new high school, so when some popular girls find out that she is crazy good at reading lips, they befriend her hoping she can snoop out all the good gossip. But how far is Serena willing to go to reach the top of the school food-chain?

Fact + Fiction = Fantastic: Fiction Readalikes for Moonbird by Phillip Hoose

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose is one of the finalists for the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. If you’ve already read Moonbird and are finding yourself wanting more, you may also enjoy these fictional stories with similar themes, subjects, and elements. Read and liked a bunch of these novels already? Give Moonbird a try!

(Summaries from jacket copy.)

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Just when seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter thinks he understands everything about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town, it all disappears….

In the summer before Cullen’s senior year, a nominally-depressed birdwatcher named John Barling thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone’s eating “Lazarus burgers.” But as absurd as the town’s carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen’s sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.

While Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young missionary in Africa, who has lost his faith, is searching for any semblance of meaning wherever he can find it. As distant as the two stories seem at the start, they are thoughtfully woven ever closer together and through masterful plotting, brought face to face in a surprising and harrowing climax.