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Children's LiteratureThe narrator's father, who remains unnamed, is a printer for a New York newspaper in the mid-1940's. The author's note explains that, in the past, the deaf were often relegated to noisy physical labor such as this. When a fire breaks out, he and the other deaf printers must save the lives of the other workers. They accomplish this through the use of American Sign Language, signaling to each other across the printing room. After everyone escapes from the building safely, the hearing employees tell the narrator's father "thank you" in sign language. Deaf children will be able to identify with the communication barriers between those who can hear and those who cannot. They also may feel a sense of empowerment, since the heroes of the book use sign language in circumstances in which speaking would not have been as effective. Since the narrator himself is not deaf, children from families with both hearing and non-hearing members will be able to relate to his situation. Hearing readers will learn about some of the obstacles that hearing-impaired people face and how they have been discriminated against both in the past and in the present. The 1940's-era illustrations are very realistic and add to the earnest and poignant tone of the book. The last page contains instructions on making a newspaper hat like those worn by the printers in the book. 2003, Peachtree, Ages 6 to 9.