By Winona Rasheed
Throughout the story, the reader is very aware of Ella’s internal struggle as she tries to decide the best course of action. She is torn between wanting to appear normal in her new school and knowing that she is different. However, she is also keenly aware of not wanting to be seen as “deficient” or “lesser than” because she is deaf. She finds that keeping deafness a secret is almost impossible in high school, where she is called on to answer questions and interact in small groups. When her secret gets out, the reactions from the other students are, at times, predictable, and at other times, it is not.
- In the story, the main character is deaf and feels she has to keep her “handicap” a secret. Should those who are deaf keep their deafness a “secret?”
- How would you handle the first day of school if you were “different” in some way? Would you tell everyone right away? Or let the other students discover it?
- In the story, Ella has some good teachers and some not so good teachers, what are the characteristics of a good teacher for the deaf?
- One of the characters in the book knows sign language because her brother is deaf, but she keeps it a secret. Do you think she is ashamed of her brother?
- Do you know someone with a handicap? How does it impact their ability to get along with others?