ISBN Number: 
Young Adult

Jessie is new to Beaverville High School.  It is hard making few friends and being deaf doesn’t help - she is an easy target for teasing.  Some of her teachers don’t make things any easier for her with her hearing problems and that only increases Jessie’s tension.  The final straw comes when none of her invited guests show up for her birthday party.  When Jessie and her classmates begin to take karate in gym class, Jessie unexpectedly finds a new talent and respect from her peers.  And, when the Sensei brings his handsome son Ethan to help in class, Jessie finds a new attraction!  Jessie begins taking additional classes at the karate dojo and a friendship soon blossoms as she discovers her talents for both karate and working with the younger children.  The bullying doesn’t stop, however and when Ethan comes to her defense, she realizes how much he truly cares for her.  As their relationship grows, Jessie learns and experiences a new level of acceptance and relationships. 
“Sway” chronicles a young girl’s journey through high school as she struggles with a disability.  Jennifer Gibson sensitively portrays what it is like to live with hearing loss, while trying to navigate adolescence.  There are several dream sequences where Jessie’s cat Parker appears to her as a spirit guide.  These are somewhat confusing, and don’t really add anything to the story.  The real focus is Jessie and her eventual triumph as she makes new friends, new confidence and  a new calling, one where her hearing loss doesn’t matter.

Victoria Z. Burg