Part coming of age, part call to action, this fast-paced #ownvoices novel about a Deaf teenager is a unique and inspiring exploration of what it means to belong.
Set in an ominously prescient near future, The Words in My Hands is the story of Piper: sixteen, smart, artistic, and rebellious, she’s struggling to conform to what her mom wants—for her to be ‘normal,’ to pass as hearing, and get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind—like survival.
Deaf since the age of three, Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate in a world that puts those who can hear above everyone else. But when she meets Marley, a whole new world opens up—one where Deafness is something to celebrate rather than hide, and where resilience and hope are created by taking action, building a community, and believing in something better.
Published to rave reviews as Future Girl in Australia (Allen & Unwin, Sept. 2020), this unforgettable story is told through a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage, and drawings that bring Piper’s journey vividly to life. Insightful, hopeful, and empowering, The Words in My Hands is very much a novel for our turbulent times.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 37 members
This was an interesting read, very different from my normal genres. It’s written in a visual diary style and I love all of the illustrations. The story itself was a quick read that drew me in and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Some of the government aspects were a little scary!
This book was simply beautiful. It is set in a not-so-distant future, where trees and plants are rare, jobs are hard to come by, and cars who? There are basically no cars because there's no more gas/petrol. Really makes you think about where we're heading. First, we have Piper. A Deaf girl who does not know any sign language. Instead, she has to read lips which, understandably, gives her headaches. The reader also gets a bit of an idea of what it's like to rely on reading lips as on the page, we see what Piper understands (not always what is being said). Enter the very good-looking Marley whose mother is Deaf and, you guessed it! he can sign! Marley's mom, Robbie, has a beautiful garden and teaches Piper about gardening while Marley teaches her how to use sign language to communicate. The story is told as though it were part of Piper's art journal so there are doodles everywhere as well as pretty coloured backgrounds and collages. I love that this is an own-voices story. And reading this totally made me want to start a garden of my own! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC.
I loved everything about this book. It is a unique, one of a kind, piece of artistry. The first thing to catch my eye was the stunning cover art. The second was the Title. This was originally published in Australia under the title Future Girl. While I understand where that title came from, I much prefer the US title, The Words in My Hands. This cover (artwork and title) is just so expressive. I did not understand what an art journal was until I read this book. What a neat thing. Basically, the main character loves to create and add to her art journal. Instead of writing on plain old paper, Piper uses paint, tape, and scraps to create pages that have texture and color. She doodles in the borders, adds small pictures off to the side or on part of the page, and on some pages, sketches or paints full page pictures. This story, which is told in first person, is written in this creative journal. Occasionally there are articles or notes pasted in it or a hand written scribble. The story is not told in journal format, although the chapter titles are dates, but is simply told in the journal, on decorative pages, enhanced by wonderful artwork. The art is either of a piece of art Piper created or an event that took place, that she describes in detail in the story. The story itself is equally impressive. Asphyxia gives us a glimpse into the life of someone who is Deaf and has grown up oral. We hear what Piper hears and can’t hear. We can see the process her brain goes through as she deciphers what someone is saying via lip reading. We feel Pipers frustration, loneliness, and despair as she tries to find her place in the world, All of this is told through a simple, clear, dystopian plot. A situation that is frightening to realize sounds like something that could happen. We see Piper grow and find her strength and her voice while she stands and fights for what she believes in. This is a very creative novel. I plan on purchasing the hard cover of this when it is released. I highly recommend this novel to teens and adults. Thank you Net Galley and Annick Press for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. #NetGalley #TheWordsinMyHands