The Book Reviews – Website

August 30, 2009

Of Sound Mind

Of Sound Mind

Author: Jean Ferris

Page Length: 215

Reading Level: 4

Genre: fiction

PLOT SUMMARY & REVIEW:  This book is about a young high school senior, Theo, who is bilingual – speaking English and using the American Sign Language symbols.  Both of his parents and younger brother are deaf, and he is the only one who is “hearing.”  When Ivy, a new girl at Theo’s high school, whose father is also deaf becomes Theo’s best friend things become quite interesting.  Not only does Ivy sign, but she has many common responsibilities.   A friendship is inevitable because of their similarities. Theo has been the hearing minority in a family where he has tremendous pressure.  He has school exams, studies math (which he loves), and has a new girl relationship that is quite comforting and quite a bit of fun for him.   However, at home he must not only interpret for his mother, who is an awesome artist, but he must be there for his father and brother.  Ivy also has responsibility but cooks and caters to make those she lives around happy.   

Even at the story’s beginning, Theo is tired of all the work and interpreting he must do.   However, it is not until his father gets really sick that Theo learns how to decide between college, his new friendship with Ivy, and what will happen with his family.   This is a great story and great fun to read!


4.9 draw on experience for word meanings

4.10 know main idea and details

4.12 analyze characters

4.11 connect and compare ideas

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: There are no touchy areas.  The book is a great tool to teach students how to distinguish between having great responsibility and coping with a disability.  

RELATED BOOKS:   Deaf Child Crossing by Marlee Martin; books by the same author are Once upon a Marigold, Bad, The Granny Project, and Up on Cloud 9


REVIEWED BY:  Linda Schwegler


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