Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Have you read the dedication?

      Once upon a time (about 1989) my teenaged neighbor Andrew Stout, son of friends, friend of my kids, inspired me to explore the conflicts of being deaf in a hearing world. He & his mom were my technical advisors. He helped me bring my characters to life. 

Tell Me How the Wind Sounds has done well. So has Andrew.
   Time passes. (23 years)

        2 couples, longtime friends, go out to dinner.  ASL interpreter & teacher Christine Robertson had discovered a book about a deaf teenager, set locally right on Clark's Island in Duxbury Bay. Her deaf student Michaela Borstel, at neighboring Marshfield High School, is reading it.  

"Do you know Tell Me How the Wind Sounds? Have you read the book?" Christine signs to Liz & Andrew Stout.

"Have you read the dedication?" Andrew signs back.

And then I receive an e-mail.

       The last time Andrew & I were together with the book was in his classroom.  I wasn't  much older than he is now & he wasn't much younger than Michaela. Thanks to Christine, we were off again, author & inspiration, this time to surprise Michaela. 
       Annie McLaughlin (who took the pic) interpreted for me as Andrew & I shared tales of those times & stories about the story.  Michaela shared her journal of my novel & an amazing video. She's recorded a detailed synopsis of every chapter. Fingers flying in American Sign Language, Michaela has interpreted/translated my entire story into that beautiful language. 

Thanks to Andrew Stout, Michaela Borstel,  
 Christine Robertson & second interpreter Annie McLaughlin.
 Even Christine's husband, Brad, popped in to join the fun.  
Fabulous day.
The surprise & delight was mine.

✍   ✍   ✍

  Tell Me How the Wind Sounds :
IRA (International Readers Assoc.) 
 Best Books/Teen Choice 1991
Scholastic Bookclub selection 
 Iowa Teen Choice, 1992
Optioned for television 
Featured in Hornbook Magazine “Musings”


Barbara O'Connor said...

This is such a wonderful tribute to a book.

Lee Stokes Hilton said...

Another great post. I got all teared up. Just goes to show how good stories live on and on.

Augusta Scattergood said...

Oh! What a story! I must share this one. Great post.