"Ackley brings Abby’s voice to life, capturing all the fear, hope and confusion involved in
trying to cope with the most grown-up of issues while still only a teen...You can't help
but want Abby to finally discover her own kind of peace, and readers will be pulling for
her throughout her journey." ~ Bestselling Author Sarah Dessen
"[Sign Language] tells its story beautifully and movingly, and it earns its hopeful ending.
Ackley is without question a talented writer." ~ Bestselling Author Nancy Werlin
Abby North's first hint that something is wrong with her dad is the
scar that appears on his stomach after he goes in for kidney surgery.
Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her
biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of
her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence.
Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and
nothing is normal anymore.
Sign Language, with its blend of raw hurt and love and humor,
explores the changing dynamics that occur in the wake of a family
member's terminal illness as well as the aftermath of loss.
A breakout debut that will break your heart
Amy Ackley is the author of Sign Language, winner of the
first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult
Fiction. Sign Language has been hailed as a "poignant
and realistic account of the stages of grief" with "finely
drawn details and sincerity".
Sign Language, published by Viking Juvenile (Penguin
USA), released August 18, 2011.
Praise for Sign Language
"To call this affecting debut a tearjerker is an understatement...Will Abby’s story of loss
and love gain popularity? Signs point to yes." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"Ackley taps into the loneliness of the grieving process, as well as the pain that comes with
such a primary loss...readers who stick with it will appreciate Abby's steady journey to
acceptance." ~ Publisher's Weekly
"Ackley ably balances Abby’s everyday teen dilemmas with the impossible heartache of a
parent’s illness and death, and the hopeful ending concludes a tale that is somber but never
depressing. Bridging a nice gap between Lurlene McDaniel and Sarah Dessen novels, this
should appeal to fans of both." ~ Booklist
"This is an amazing debut novel for readers who appreciate contemporary teen fiction. It is
both moving and realistic, a result of the well-crafted family relationships." ~VOYA (Voice for
Youth Advocates), highlighted review
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"Amy Ackley's SIGN LANGUAGE tells of a pre-teen facing her father's cancer and how it's
changing her life. Previously only concerned with a crush and an annoying brother, Abby's
facing her family's wrenching breakdown in the face of illness and death. Afterwards, she can't
even cry: how can life go on? A fine novel of recovery evolves." ~ Midwest Book Review
"Ackley does an amazing job of writing from that preteen perspective, and Abby's reactions
to what she witnesses are spot on. Ackley does a beautiful job of showing the progression
from the early to late stages of cancer, and can do the topic justice because it is so focused."
~ San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review