Iris is a tech genius. If you put any old radio in her hands she’ll have it running like it was never broken. But being the only D/d student at a hearing school makes her feel out of place. She has an interpreter and all but people often treat her like she’s not very smart. She feel like she’s not truly seen or heard.
When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales she understands how he must feel. Iris who is already interested in sound waves from her interest in old radios has an idea. What if she creates a song for Blue 55, a way to sing back to him.
Even after she creates her song, how will she ever get it to him, he’s with a little luck and a little help from her grandma. The two of them take a trip that Iris will never forget. But will she get to play her song in time.
I like the way this book explored D/deaf issues. I am in no way an expert on these issues but I did like the connection between Iris and her grandmother. Some children don’t learn sign language the way they that would make them more able to communicate. Communication is the real theme of this book and Iris comes back from her journey to see 55 as a better communicator and able to finally tell her parents what she wants, her grandmother also finds her voice.
This book is a five/five. I’d totally read it again. I would suggest this book for Disability Readathon but it’s not #OwnVoices. The author however is a long-time interpreter, but I don’t know about the feelings in the D/deaf community about interpreters writing stories so that might be an issue.