Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 12, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.
From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a realistic story about a deaf boy and a mute girl that will really touch the reader’s heart. I enjoyed the lack of stereotypes in the book and the main character’s compassion and relatable awkwardness. I do, however, feel like the story became boring after a while, and didn’t find it as enjoyable as it could have been.
This book has such an inspiring concept! A girl with selective mutism meets a deaf boy. Before reading A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I didn’t know much about selective mutism at all, and I’m glad that this story is able to educate its readers on this topic in a way that is entertaining and pretty adorable. The primary method of communication in the book is sign language, and there are a few signs scattered throughout the book so the reader can learn a few simple phrases along with Steffi. While I am neither deaf nor a selective mute, I feel like Sara Barnard did a good job of avoiding stereotypes in her novel. The way this story is written comes across as respectful, which is exactly how a story about health should be.
I really enjoyed Steffi’s character. She is so caring and tries to remain positive, even though her anxiety makes it difficult. What I especially liked about Steffi is the fact that she makes a lot of mistakes around Rhys. She forgets sometimes that he can’t hear her favourite songs, and Rhys is understanding of that. All this makes the book more believable and relatable.
Although I enjoyed A Quiet Kind of Thunder, there were certain points where the pacing bothered me. Once Steffi and Rhys’s relationship was established, the book got pretty boring and repetitive. The beginning was amazing, but halfway through, the story just fell flat. Because of this, I was unable to enjoy it as much as I would have liked. It really has the potential to be a 5 star book.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder is an entertaining and educational book about a deaf boy who meets a selectively mute girl. I loved the concept and the main character’s personality, but the story became boring about halfway through. I didn’t love this book as much as I had hoped I would, but it is definitely one worth checking out.