Kicking off November, we have Michael Thal's GOODBYE TCHAIKOVSKY. In GOODBYE TCHAIKOVSKY, readers are presented with a topic not often tackled in Young Adult fiction, hearing loss. But I'm going to step aside and let the book do the talking. Without further ado...
David Rothman is an overnight success. He performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with rave reviews attracting the attention of the Queen of England. His future is laid out for him like a well-lit freeway. Then, on his twelfth birthday, David suffers from an irreparable hearing loss, plunging him into a silent world.
How will David communicate with his friends? What about school? Where does his future lie? The novel shows how an adolescent boy copes with deafness.
This didn’t make much sense because I lived in an apartment building nestled between an office building and a supermarket. There was always noise.
I threw back the sheets and pushed away the white drapes. A garbage truck was parked in the middle of the street and a woman stood outside the office building smoking a cigarette. I shrugged my shoulders and picked up my violin. The California Youth Symphony had another concert slated for September, and I needed to be prepared.
I plucked the ‘A’ string. It shook with a puff of resin. The violin vibrated, but there wasn’t any sound.
Damn, the soundboard’s broken.
“Ma!” I screamed.
Nothing. I couldn’t hear my voice. I just kept thinking, “How could I lose my voice?”
She didn’t have far to run. She opened my bedroom door; the aroma of coffee and eggs filled my nostrils. She padded into my room; put her arms akimbo, and talked. Her mouth moved but nothing came out.
“Ma, I can’t hear my voice, my fiddle, or you. Nothing. What’s happening to me?” I held my head and shook it.
Her lips formed the words, “Oh my God.”
About Michael Thal
Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.
You can learn more about Michael Thal on his website at www.michaelthal.com. His books can be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble in print and as e-books.