Review of Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion
by Shannon Stocker; illus. by Devon Holzwarth
Primary, Intermediate    Dial    40 pp.    g
4/22    978-0-593-10969-4    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-10970-0    $10.99

Evelyn Glennie grew up 1960s Scotland surrounded by music: her mother played the organ and her father played the accordion. By the age of eight, Evelyn could play songs by ear on the piano. She began to experience degenerative hearing loss when she was ten. She was determined to continue playing music, however; she knew that even though she couldn’t hear, she could still feel its rhythm and vibrations. After high school, she auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music in ­London, “but they turned her down. No one believed that a deaf musician could have a career in music.” ­Glennie fought the decision and eventually was ­admitted—and because of her, “every music school in Great Britain changed its rules…No one should be turned away because of a disability.” Glennie’s career has taken her around the world; she has won numerous awards (including two Grammys) and was knighted in 1993. Stocker’s engaging text is ably supported by Holzwarth’s vibrant illustrations, which effectively use color and pattern and movement to represent sound. An author’s note provides more information about this remarkable musician’s work, and a list of references is appended.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Maija Meadows Hasegawa

Maija Meadows Hasegawa is a disabled librarian of color who works as the Youth Programs Librarian for the Children's Library at the Central Library of the Boston Public Library. She has previously worked at two branches in Dorchester. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Simmons University.

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