Lilah isn’t deaf, but she’s not hearing, either. At summer camp for the deaf, Lilah must improve her ASL skills fast if she wants to fit in and communicate with the cute boy she’s crushing on. While she’s ready to dive into Deaf culture, the community can be wary of outsiders. And when a frightening miscommunication happens off campgrounds, Lilah also learns how dangerous a world made for the hearing can be. (Switched At Birth meets Jenny Han)
I’m standing at home plate with a baseball bat resting on my shoulder and a blindfold tied tight around my eyes. Behind me, someone is saying something, but I can’t hear them.
“What?” I shout with careless volume. The word rolls easily off my tongue. I’ve probably uttered it every day of my life. It saves me from having to explain, “I’m sorry. Please repeat yourself. I wear hearing aids for my hearing loss but still couldn’t understand you.”
“I’ll poke your back with a stick,” Raine says again.
To be honest, I’m not happy about playing beeper baseball, but I can’t afford to complain. Camp Gray Wolf is a summer camp for the deaf and the blind that I’ve attended since I was ten. This is the only place I have where I can be with other kids like me. We’re all about accessibility and inclusion, even when it makes our games somewhat impractical.
I love camp more than anything, but this year is different. I’m seventeen, and I get to take on new responsibilities as a counselor-in-training. As a C.I.T., I need to prove I have what it takes to be a counselor next year, otherwise my summers at Camp Gray Wolf will come to an end.