Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Meeting Antony John at the Children’s Literature Festival 2012, just made my day.  He’s an interesting, charming man, who is also funny!  He made the students laugh, and they loved his accent.
Piper is a teen girl who just happens to be deaf.  She doesn’t see what is right in front of her, but often sees others very clearly, at least when she truly pays attention.  Piper’s growth is an amazing thing to watch and be a part of as the novel goes on.  I read it faster than I expected; I finished in just over four hours, I was so caught up in her world. 

Piper’s story made me laugh and cry, cliché, I know, but I did actually laugh out loud while reading parts of this novel-much to the amazement of some of my students.  After tearing up in chapter 3, (!) I decided to finish it at home.  I don’t mind admitting a book made me cry; I just don’t want to be on display when it happens.  Antony John did such a good job of getting into Piper’s head and making me understand how she felt about her deafness, and her confusion over her parents not understanding her.  He made me wondered who in Antony’s family was deaf, no one, it turns out.  

One of my favorite quotes: 

“I nodded, which was stupid because “honest” is just a code word for “critical,” and I should have realized I wasn’t ready for that--especially not from Ed.“  (pg, 137)  

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