Nick's Mission (Lerner Mysteries)

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9780822507406: Nick's Mission (Lerner Mysteries)

Nick, a deaf sixth grader, is upset about having to go to speech therapy over the summer, until he and his dog stumble on some dangerous smugglers and he learns the importance of being able to communicate.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6?Nick, 12, has been deaf since he was struck with meningitis at age 6. In an attempt to keep him mainstreamed in public school, his mother insists that he attend daily speech-therapy sessions. Nick, intending to spend the entire summer swimming, snorkeling, and generally cavorting around the lake near his home, strenuously objects to his mother's plans. Matters are at an uncomfortable stalemate until the boy happens upon a bird-smuggling ring operating on the far side of the lake. After making a narrow escape from the miscreants, he is saved from impending hypothermia by a boat bearing the authorities and his frantic mother. His slurred speech presents some barriers to conveying the vital information about the criminals. However, the photos he snapped fill in the gaps and convince the police to raid the site where both the birds and a gardener are being held captive. The most impressive feature of this otherwise predictable adventure story is that the protagonist is handicapped. His struggle with and denial of his disability will provide food for thought for all readers. The sense of empowerment Nick gains through his triumph over adversity should inspire children coping with self-esteem issues. A light, fun read that offers a little something extra.?Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4^-6. Twelve-year-old Nick is looking forward to summer vacation and the chance to snorkel in the lake and play with his dog, Wags. Unfortunately, Mom has made other plans, arranging for a speech therapist to work with him so that he can continue attending regular schools despite his hearing impairment. Angry, Nick opts to forgo both therapy and speaking to his mother. Then he stumbles into a ring of smugglers transporting scarlet macaws from Mexico to the U.S., and finds himself in a dangerous situation in which his very survival depends on his ability to communicate clearly. The author, who is hearing impaired, writes with empathy and understanding about the social and emotional issues facing the deaf, yet she never invites readers to pity Nick. His disability affects his life, but it never defines his character. A suspenseful story that should appeal to animal lovers and mystery buffs. Kay Weisman

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