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The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang, an award-winning book for readers age 10 and up, tells of a girl who moved from China to Seattle and lost her voice. The book’s message is about what unexpected joy kids might find if they reach out to classmates who have trouble speaking English.
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I was inspired to write this book when I volunteered as a classroom mentor at an elementary school in Seattle. I helped a boy and a girl who had recently arrived from China, sitting by them and making sure they understood what they teacher expected of them. Most immigrant children from China learn English quickly, so I decided my character needed to have another, deeper problem. I read an article about "selective mutism" and did research on it; that is why Gina has no voice in the classroom. This book also includes a section where a bully picks on a girl in a wheelchair and Gina intervenes. Some schools have assigned it as part of their anti-bullying program. The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang was originally published in 2000 by Pleasant Publications Company. This reprint was published in 2011 by East West Insights.From the Back Cover:
She thought again about the tightness in her throat and wondered if something was wrong with her. She hadn't simply refused to speak at school. She couldn't speak . . . Jinna has always been shy, but when her family moves from China to America, she vows to be the new "Gina" - brave, confident, and quick to learn English. If only her throat would cooperate.Everyone is frustrated by Gina's silence except Priscilla, a girl with her own need for understanding. Gina wants to trust her, but can she let Priscilla in on her biggest secret, the private fairy-tale world inside her head?Winner of the 2000 Pleasant T. Rowland Prize for Fiction for Girlsand the Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2001
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Book Description East West Insights, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0615466788
Book Description East West Insights, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB010716YR4
Book Description East West Insights, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110615466788