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Set Me Free

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Three years after being kidnapped and rendered a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment to determine the cause of her deafness, fourteen year old Mary Lambert is summoned from her home in Martha's Vineyard to the mainland to teach a younger deaf girl to communicate with sign language. She can't help but wonder, Can a child of eight with no prior language be taught? Still, w Three years after being kidnapped and rendered a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment to determine the cause of her deafness, fourteen year old Mary Lambert is summoned from her home in Martha's Vineyard to the mainland to teach a younger deaf girl to communicate with sign language. She can't help but wonder, Can a child of eight with no prior language be taught? Still, weary of domestic life and struggling to write as she used to, Mary pours all her passion into the pursuit of freeing this child from the prison of her isolation. But when she arrives at the manor, Mary discovers that there is much more to the girl's story -- and the circumstances of her confinement -- than she ever could have imagined. Freeing her suddenly takes on a much greater meaning -- and risk.


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Three years after being kidnapped and rendered a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment to determine the cause of her deafness, fourteen year old Mary Lambert is summoned from her home in Martha's Vineyard to the mainland to teach a younger deaf girl to communicate with sign language. She can't help but wonder, Can a child of eight with no prior language be taught? Still, w Three years after being kidnapped and rendered a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment to determine the cause of her deafness, fourteen year old Mary Lambert is summoned from her home in Martha's Vineyard to the mainland to teach a younger deaf girl to communicate with sign language. She can't help but wonder, Can a child of eight with no prior language be taught? Still, weary of domestic life and struggling to write as she used to, Mary pours all her passion into the pursuit of freeing this child from the prison of her isolation. But when she arrives at the manor, Mary discovers that there is much more to the girl's story -- and the circumstances of her confinement -- than she ever could have imagined. Freeing her suddenly takes on a much greater meaning -- and risk.

30 review for Set Me Free

  1. 5 out of 5

    Court

    I was very lucky to get my hand on an ARC of this much anticipated sequel thanks to a loan from a dear friend. The universe blessed me with a great rainy day after - so I finished this in one sitting! The story follows Mary who is still recovering from the traumas of Show Me A Sign and is now also trying to answer the big question - what will she do with her life? Will she have a vocation? Will she get married like her mother wants her to? Mary is an incredibly introspective and honest character I was very lucky to get my hand on an ARC of this much anticipated sequel thanks to a loan from a dear friend. The universe blessed me with a great rainy day after - so I finished this in one sitting! The story follows Mary who is still recovering from the traumas of Show Me A Sign and is now also trying to answer the big question - what will she do with her life? Will she have a vocation? Will she get married like her mother wants her to? Mary is an incredibly introspective and honest character for a young teen, yet her emotional outbursts remind us of her youth. There are some really great, but also painful moments, where she clashes a bit with her mom on her purpose in life. Luckily for Mary, she is invited to teach a girl on the mainland who is believed to be deaf. The letter is mysterious and vague, but Mary chooses to chase after the call anyways. Mary takes a big leap of faith in leaving the safety of her home, where she is surrounded by a community who can sign and understand that her deafness is not an affliction. She believes she is prepared to enter back into a world where deafness is looked down upon, but what she finds of the girl’s predicament is shocking and horrific in ways that Mary never expected. Mary is challenged throughout the book to overcome societal expectations of women and their power, to hold on to truth in the face of evil, and to do what is right even when it puts you and others at risk. Mary’s story is one of adventure - without shying away from the racism, sexism, and colonialism rampant in the world. If you liked the first companion novel, you will certainly love this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy MacMillan

    In Show Me a Sign, Ann Clare LeZotte introduced us to Mary Lambert and the people of Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1800s, where nearly everyone signed and deaf islanders were fully integrated into the life of the island. The Mary we meet in Set Me Free, three years after she was kidnapped and dragged to the mainland to be experimented upon, is warier and wiser. When she is offered the chance to tutor an eight-year-old deaf girl who seems to have no access to communication, she says yes, though In Show Me a Sign, Ann Clare LeZotte introduced us to Mary Lambert and the people of Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1800s, where nearly everyone signed and deaf islanders were fully integrated into the life of the island. The Mary we meet in Set Me Free, three years after she was kidnapped and dragged to the mainland to be experimented upon, is warier and wiser. When she is offered the chance to tutor an eight-year-old deaf girl who seems to have no access to communication, she says yes, though she has no idea of the web of secrets and lies she will uncover when she leaves the island to go to the fine manor house. Mary relies on her wits and her own internal moral compass to communicate with the hearing people in the house, always determined to reach the girl - determined not to give up on her, even if her own family already has. Along the way, Mary must confront old friends and enemies, and reckon with the web of prejudice around her, even in her own family and history. LeZotte once again offers a nuanced picture of history, naturally incorporating characters of many backgrounds into the story and showing how the lives of the Wampanoag, black, and white characters are intertwined both on the island and the mainland. Mary remains both passionate and compassionate even as she learns greater patience for those whose minds have not been opened as much as her own. At a family dinner, Papa toasts Mary by signing, “To our Mary, in all her beautiful contradictions.” LeZottte’s work, in turn, shines a light on the beautiful contradictions in every one of us.

  3. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Mary Lambert is back on the island after her horrific kidnapping ordeal of a couple of years ago. She still has terrible nightmares from that time and feels adrift now her schooling has finished and her best friend Nancy living off the island. What is her place? What is her role in society as a Deaf young woman? In spite of everyone in her town on Martha's Vineyard knowing how to sign and accepting Deafness as normal, Mary chafes at the idea of staying home forever or marrying some farmer. She's Mary Lambert is back on the island after her horrific kidnapping ordeal of a couple of years ago. She still has terrible nightmares from that time and feels adrift now her schooling has finished and her best friend Nancy living off the island. What is her place? What is her role in society as a Deaf young woman? In spite of everyone in her town on Martha's Vineyard knowing how to sign and accepting Deafness as normal, Mary chafes at the idea of staying home forever or marrying some farmer. She's certainly not cut out to be a nursemaid, as their farm hand's mischievous young nephews drive her crazy. Yet, when her mother reveals Mary has had a letter from her former friend and helper, Nora, and has kept the letter from Mary, Mary is surprised her mother would keep correspondence from her. Nora's letter reveals she's in service to a new family at The Vale, near Boston. The absent family has left behind a girl whom Nora believes is a deaf mute. She asks Mary to come take charge of the girl's education and help her. After much thought Mary accepts the challenge and is eager to bring this child into the light. A warning from her old sailor friend Ezra Brewer about how the world sees people like Mary spooks her but she's determined to go on. At The Vale, Mary soon realizes something sinister is going on. The house holds secrets, not the least of which is her charge, a girl without a name, without language. Who is she? Where did she come from and can Mary help set her free? This story is part Jane Eyre, a bit of The Secret Garden, part The Miracle Worker: A Play, part women's rights manifesto, partly an expose on American ableism, racism, slavery, sexism, patriotism and prejudice. I got caught up in the gothic suspense of the story, wondering who Ladybird was and how she came to be there. The villain was SUPER obvious and cartoonish so I guessed that right away but Ladybird's story was a surprise. This novel contains many disturbing elements and way too many issues. There was too much going on and I would have preferred a narrower focus on the attitudes towards the deaf and hard of hearing without the feminist manifesto. Of course the indigenous people must be included, they're still there and I drive past the Mashpee Wampanoag meeting house frequently and of course the plight of the Wampanoag must be included in the story but maybe not so prominently. The villain's story needed to be shown rather than told secondhand after the fact to keep the focus on The Vale and Ladybird's story. If your school district teaches the critical race theory, they'll probably carry this book in the school library. If your school district is opposed to teaching the critical race theory, they need a copy of this book in the school library. For me, as an adult reader and historian, I found it over-the-top and over-corrected. While I don't know if a girl like Mary would be more sympathetic towards Sally, "Sissy" and people of color because of her deafness, I know the Skiffes' indifferent attitude is more accurate for New Englanders of the period. (Raise your hand if you shop at certain stores or buy certain brands that will make your descendants cry "shame on them! How COULD they?") Jeremiah Skiffe even echoes the sentiments of President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was a complicated, conflicted man who often contradicted himself but I bet people listened and believed what he had to say because he was president - "Why should the Indians keep their land? They aren't using it productively and therefore, their day is done. They'll die out and a new day will dawn with America as a great civilization." We KNOW those attitudes were wrong. We don't need to be hit on the head with the opposite viewpoint. It takes me out of the story, making me feel as if Mary is a time traveler from present day back in the early 1800s imposing her morals on people when she herself is a flawed heroine. Mary is a very flawed heroine. She's confused, lonely and bored with her life as is but scared to take risks on her own. She has PTSD from her ordeal and it makes her wary of outsiders. She's a young woman of firm moral convictions and frequently turns to Rev. Lee for guidance. Mary seems confident but also insecure. She looks to her former teacher, now Mrs. Pye, for help. Mrs. Pye offers kindly advice based on research but only Mary knows how the girl must feel and only Mary can see the situation and make judgments. Sometimes her decisions make her self-righteous. She's certain her way is the right way forward. When she makes mistakes, which is frequently, she feels bad but charges ahead with her plans. Mary is a child herself and impatient. Her impetuosity could come at a cost- not just for herself but also for the girl and for Nora and the other servants. Her decisions do come back to haunt her. What I liked about this second book is how Mary explains why her sign language sounds like fluent 19th-century English. Mary and Nancy usually communicate in their own shorthand but sometimes they like to spell everything out to make their communications sound like fancy oral speech. I suppose Mary must feel like she has to do that with the written word as well for Nora's letters are WAY too "high-falutin'" for someone who only learned how to read and write a few years earlier. Nora means well. She's naïve about Mary's abilities. Nora has no idea what's really going on in the house and she needs to protect herself and her job. She was already turned away without a reference from Dr. Minot's (cue feminist manifesto subplot) and now she has to be careful. She's very sweet, kind and caring towards Mary but sometimes her actions are careless. The other servants at The Vale are two-dimensional. Walter, the driver, comes across as arrogant and a willing henchman. Stephen, on the other hand, is courteous but also willing to do what he's told even if it's morally wrong. We don't know whether he does it to keep his job or if he truly believes people who are deaf and hard of hearing are "mad" and dangerous or is there ANOTHER reason why the girl may be seen as "mad" and dangerous? I wish THAT had been addressed rather than the feminist subplot, even though that's my favorite topic. Mrs. Collins is kind and motherly. Elsie the maid is shy and tries to hide her cleft lip. Mary helps make the girl feel more comfortable. Ben, the gardener, is also kind and understanding even though he could get into serious trouble for helping Mary. (view spoiler)[Is he supposed to be Benjamin Tallmadge? Noo... he's too young but perhaps inspired by? I missed that clue but should have guessed. (hide spoiler)] Of course Mr. Norwich, the butler, is the villain! He's SOOO obvious and SOOO cartoonishly evil! More character development was needed with him to make the reader understand his motivations. Is he devoted to his family, vowing to keep their secrets at all costs or is he on some ego power trip? Or both? Mary's friends on the island are charming. Her parents love her but I think her mother is smothering. Her mother, having her hearing, doesn't fully understand how Mary experiences the world and what she's feeling. Of course her mother would be more aware of how outsiders would see her daughter and want to protect her only surviving child at all costs. I also think she's overprotective because of George's death. Mary is her only child living and if Mary leaves, that leaves her mother and father without any children at all. I'm sure her mother is scared Mary will leave and never return. It's easier to be sympathetic to her mother in this second volume. Her Papa is always loving and understanding. Eammon, their farmhand, has three young nephews who have come from Ireland to stay with him. They're little rascals and would be enough to try the patience of any saint. They're the types that have figured out how to exploit Mary's weakness. I hate bratty little boys but I suppose they might be charming to some. Mrs. Pye is a good teacher and friend to Mary. She understands Mary's dream and knows Mary can achieve it if she works at it. Mrs. Pye is aware it won't be easy but there IS a school for the deaf, in France, pioneering research in education. Rev. Lee is a kindly minister but preachy. Is the author aware the island was founded by Puritans? He is not a Puritanical type minister but a "benevolent" Christian. (Mary ruminates on the nature of Christian charity though). Sally, a Black-Indigenous woman, seems to be the one person looking out for Mary and truly helping because it's the right thing to do. Mary's best friend Nancy, always an adventurous, wild young girl, is growing up. She now lives with her wealthy uncle Jeremiah and studies music. Nancy has joined a bluestocking club of devotees of Mary Wollstonecraft. I want to join! Where is Mercy Otis Warren? She may be elderly but I bet she would be a member. Abigail Adams is mentioned but we don't meet her. (We do meet John and his grandson, George Washington Adams, in some weird, random cameo). (Note to Nancy: corsets, or stays as they were called in the early 1800s, are not for constricting the waist. Before the War of 1812, Nancy, as a teen girl, might wear something like a sports bra. Or because she's larger, she might want to wear something like a modern shaping garment to give her support. NOT wearing a corset is like not wearing a bra and her gowns wouldn't fit right. Everyone I've talked to says the "Regency" stays are comfortable.) The bluestockings talk the talk but when it comes time to actually do something that would change a girl's life, they balk at actually doing something because the timing is inconvenient, etc. etc. excuses excuses. Nancy, too, is indifferent to the plight of others. She shrugs off Mary's question about a Black servant's real name and is all too quick to turn her back on a situation once the adrenaline rush is over. It makes her distasteful and modern day young readers probably won't like her much but she's far more realistic than Mary! Nancy's uncle, Jeremiah, is still trying to atone for the hit-and-run accident that killed Mary's brother George. He feels guilty and feels the need to help Mary to pay a debt to her family. He doesn't really care about the issues at all and his behavior on Cape Cod, while typical, is appalling in more ways than one. Again, though, he comes across as realistic! Because this book has a secondary plot about women's rights, I'm left with a huge burning question. (view spoiler)[Is Beatrice's mother really mentally unstable or just unconventional? At first it seems like she was unconventional and like Mary, chafed at the restrictions placed on her by her elite family. Then it sounds like she couldn't accept living a life she wasn't accustomed to with her poor farmer husband. However, her actions towards her daughter are not the actions of a woman in her right mind. At least not by modern standards and we don't actually know what happened. She seems to be in the same category as Bertha Mason (Mrs. Rochester). How tragic for everyone. Did her mental instability cause the servants to think Beatrice was also mentally unstable? We'll never know since the story was told third hand. (hide spoiler)] Ultimately, this book wasn't for more but I'm sure it appeals to the target age group of Gen Z. changemakers. (Ages 12-14)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    "A person is intelligent even if they don't have language." p.46 "She's reawakening. A child I'm not acquainted with but would like to know." p. 237 "The attainment of a purity that's never existed poisons the people and land we share..." p. 253 "A person is intelligent even if they don't have language." p.46 "She's reawakening. A child I'm not acquainted with but would like to know." p. 237 "The attainment of a purity that's never existed poisons the people and land we share..." p. 253

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book. This is a truly wonderful sequel to Show Me A Sign. Mary is still recovering from her harrowing journey home after being kidnapped as a test subject, when she receives a mysterious letter requesting her help. She travels from her home to the mainland, where she arrives at a mansion with a terrible secret. Inside this beautiful manor, known as the Vale, is a child. Mary gives her the nickname Ladybird. The child is believed to be a deaf mute and Mary I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book. This is a truly wonderful sequel to Show Me A Sign. Mary is still recovering from her harrowing journey home after being kidnapped as a test subject, when she receives a mysterious letter requesting her help. She travels from her home to the mainland, where she arrives at a mansion with a terrible secret. Inside this beautiful manor, known as the Vale, is a child. Mary gives her the nickname Ladybird. The child is believed to be a deaf mute and Mary has been hired to teach her sign language as a way to communicate. What Mary did not expect from her new job was the squalor and abuse that Ladybird is being forced to live with. After many attempts to understand what’s really going on, Mary realizes that Ladybird is literate when she writes her name, Beatrice. She also sees a horrible scar on Beatrice and seeks more answers from those working in the manor. Just as she thinks she’s learning Beatrice’s real story, Mary is fired from her position and told to leave. With the help of her friend and an unexpected ally, she must return to The Vale to rescue Beatrice once and for all. But will Mary rescue her from one bad situation just to throw her into another? While keeping you on the edge of your seat with adventure, this book looks deeply into issues of racism, bias, and discrimination. It’s a great continuation of Mary’s story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    This sequel to Show Me a Sign continues to look at the history of the Deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 1800s. In addition to addressing anti-Deaf sentiment in most of the hearing world, it also looks at other types of discrimination include that against Native Americans and African Americans. Mary is still recovering from her ordeal when she is asked to come help a younger girl who may also be deaf. Although she comes from a well-to-do family, she is locked away in a room and tre This sequel to Show Me a Sign continues to look at the history of the Deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 1800s. In addition to addressing anti-Deaf sentiment in most of the hearing world, it also looks at other types of discrimination include that against Native Americans and African Americans. Mary is still recovering from her ordeal when she is asked to come help a younger girl who may also be deaf. Although she comes from a well-to-do family, she is locked away in a room and treated like a wild animal. Because of her experience as an "experiment," Mary knows in her heart that she must try and help. But nothing is quite what it seems. Highly recommended for grades 4 and up. It can stand alone, but better to read Show Me a Sign first. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Excellent! Follow-ups and sequels make me a little nervous, but in this case I had nothng to fear. I loved this story of Mary's travels to help a younger girl who is deaf, and I was hooked throughout the story's twists and turns. EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Excellent! Follow-ups and sequels make me a little nervous, but in this case I had nothng to fear. I loved this story of Mary's travels to help a younger girl who is deaf, and I was hooked throughout the story's twists and turns.

  8. 5 out of 5

    CLM

    I am glad the author is planning a third book because I want to know what will happen to Mary but I felt this was disjointed and not as strong as the first.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Happy pub day to this fabulous sequel to Show Me a Sign! . . . Why I love Set Me Free: ✅ historical mystery ✅ explores marginalized populations in early America ✅ weaves together the effects of racism, ableism and colonialism, as well as early feminism ✅ fascinating look at dDeaf culture and MVSL in particular ✅ could not put it down! ✅ interesting look at the limits of friendship and the inability to ever fully understand someone else's situation . . . Mary Lambert is one of my favorite characters from 2020 Happy pub day to this fabulous sequel to Show Me a Sign! . . . Why I love Set Me Free: ✅ historical mystery ✅ explores marginalized populations in early America ✅ weaves together the effects of racism, ableism and colonialism, as well as early feminism ✅ fascinating look at dDeaf culture and MVSL in particular ✅ could not put it down! ✅ interesting look at the limits of friendship and the inability to ever fully understand someone else's situation . . . Mary Lambert is one of my favorite characters from 2020, so I'm very happy to revisit her world again. Readers should likely read both books, but Set Me Free stands alone as its own story. These books are wonderful readalikes to The War that Saved My Life, which is wildly popular in our school. Both series are historical fiction books about disability, abuse, and personal transformation. . . . #middleschoollibrarian #middleschoollibrary #library #librarian #futurereadylibs #iteachlibrary #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #librariesfollowlibraries #librarylife #librarianlife #schoollibrarian #middlegrade #middlegradebooks #iteach #librarylove #booksbooksbooks #amreading #bibliophile #schoollibrariansrock #bookreview #bookrecommendation #igreads #malibrary #msla #mediaspecialist @annclarelezotte

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    LeZotte’s follow-up to award-winning Show Me a Sign is just as exciting as her first tale of Mary when she was kidnapped to be part of a cruel research project into the frequent occurrence of deafness on Martha’s Vineyard. In Set Me Free, Mary is back home in her beloved Chilmark, writing a history of the Vineyard and yearning to do something significant with her life. When an opportunity to teach a young deaf girl arises, Mary packs a trunk and heads for a mansion on the mainland, only to disco LeZotte’s follow-up to award-winning Show Me a Sign is just as exciting as her first tale of Mary when she was kidnapped to be part of a cruel research project into the frequent occurrence of deafness on Martha’s Vineyard. In Set Me Free, Mary is back home in her beloved Chilmark, writing a history of the Vineyard and yearning to do something significant with her life. When an opportunity to teach a young deaf girl arises, Mary packs a trunk and heads for a mansion on the mainland, only to discover that not only does she share deafness with the girl, but kidnapping as well. Readers will follow her attempts to free and teach Beatrice with interest and along the way, will learn much about the post-Revolutionary War time period. Target age for this book, as well as its predecessor is wide, but is likely to appeal to lovers of historical fiction from grades 5 through adult. End notes provide even more historical reference and may spur further research. No incidences of profanity, one ambiguous comment about inappropriate sexual advances, violence is necessary to the plot but is not excessive. Thanks for the advance reader copy, Scholastic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Casey Jo

    I *adored* LeZotte's debut, so was so excited for this book (and a little nervous.) It DID NOT DISAPPOINT! When LeZotte takes on a project, she goes there with all her heart, and she brings us along for the ride. And add mystery to the list of genres Le Zotte excels at. - Mary's a little older now, and has more control over her situation, but the stakes are still high, and now Mary's the one who needs to save someone else. - I cheered when Ezra Brewer showed up. And the second it was described tha I *adored* LeZotte's debut, so was so excited for this book (and a little nervous.) It DID NOT DISAPPOINT! When LeZotte takes on a project, she goes there with all her heart, and she brings us along for the ride. And add mystery to the list of genres Le Zotte excels at. - Mary's a little older now, and has more control over her situation, but the stakes are still high, and now Mary's the one who needs to save someone else. - I cheered when Ezra Brewer showed up. And the second it was described that he looked less strong than before, I knew where things were going. In a good way - it prepared me. And kids will be bowled over. Ezra!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!! - The slow build to finally meeting Ladybird is agonizingly perfect. - OMG, just all of it. And LeZotte doesn't shy away from serious, complex conversations at the end. I'm here for it, and the kids will be too! The reference notes at the end are great too. I notice some reviews say that Mary feels "modern" in her reflections on race and racism, but you know what? The readers are modern. And while it was (is) rare for a white person to be that conscientious, plenty of Black, Indigenous and mixed people have known about what's going on for a long time. I love Mary, and I love Ann Clare LeZotte!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Not as polished as Show Me a Sign, and I'm in two minds about whether that is a weakness, or whether it opens more windows into what Deaf narrative structure feels like. Sometimes the transitions between paragraphs or thoughts feel abrupt to me, but LaZotte's storytelling is as compelling as ever and it's really good to be back with Mary Lambert again. The child she helps and the mystery she solves are all too believable examples of cruelty to the non-hearing and non-white people. Sometimes Mary Not as polished as Show Me a Sign, and I'm in two minds about whether that is a weakness, or whether it opens more windows into what Deaf narrative structure feels like. Sometimes the transitions between paragraphs or thoughts feel abrupt to me, but LaZotte's storytelling is as compelling as ever and it's really good to be back with Mary Lambert again. The child she helps and the mystery she solves are all too believable examples of cruelty to the non-hearing and non-white people. Sometimes Mary's thoughtful and sensitive interactions with Native, Black and women characters in the book feel a little too modern, but there are always people who reject prejudice, and she is a believable example, as she considers the world through a lens of how she's been treated. edited to add -- author commented that the narrative structure is deliberate, which in my mind takes this story to a whole new level. Advanced Reader's Copy provided by Edelweiss.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    If you loved Show Me a Sign, then you’ll be delighted to know that Mary Lambert is back in Set Me Free. This time, Mary is using her passion & knowledge to help a young deaf girl who does not know sign language overcome isolation & so much more. Powerful #mglit!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Really interesting, but I missed reading Show Me a Sign first. I want to read that book now, but the sequel gave everything away. Librarian fail!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    I wanted to like this sequel to Show Me a Sign so much, I couldn't wait to get the ARC. But, set a few years after the first book, Mary is now 14 and out of school, but still dreams of becoming a teacher. When an opportunity presents itself teaching a rather feral 8 year old in Boston, Mary overcomes her anxiety to be in that city again after what she experiences there before, and accepts the job. The girl is locked in the attic in the home of wealthy Bostonians who are away, but Mary is prevent I wanted to like this sequel to Show Me a Sign so much, I couldn't wait to get the ARC. But, set a few years after the first book, Mary is now 14 and out of school, but still dreams of becoming a teacher. When an opportunity presents itself teaching a rather feral 8 year old in Boston, Mary overcomes her anxiety to be in that city again after what she experiences there before, and accepts the job. The girl is locked in the attic in the home of wealthy Bostonians who are away, but Mary is prevented from doing much for her by a cruel, sadistic butler who saw deaf people as less then hearing people. I was disappointed that this wasn't written in free verse like the first book, because I felt the prose didn't do Mary justice. She came across as arrogant and self-righteous where I think she was meant to be caring and concerned. I would definitely recommend reading this sequel, especially if you read the first book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dani Paige

    This is like 'Liberty Kids' with Deaf kids and I AM LOVING THIS. I want to follow Mary and her adventures forever! (: This is like 'Liberty Kids' with Deaf kids and I AM LOVING THIS. I want to follow Mary and her adventures forever! (:

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I knew that Martha's Vineyard had a large Deaf population and that they'd created their own version of sign language, so reading a book set in that location and with that population was interesting to me. Having said that... the era is the early 1800s, and yet Mary could be a modern child. Something about that felt very off. The child she sets out to help is clearly a victim of abuse and is still being kept in an abusive situation, aided by the staff of the Vale (it's never completely clear why I knew that Martha's Vineyard had a large Deaf population and that they'd created their own version of sign language, so reading a book set in that location and with that population was interesting to me. Having said that... the era is the early 1800s, and yet Mary could be a modern child. Something about that felt very off. The child she sets out to help is clearly a victim of abuse and is still being kept in an abusive situation, aided by the staff of the Vale (it's never completely clear why the owners of the Vale are allowing all this to go on, but they're absent so that's possibly why). No spoilers, except to say that the expressions of racism and bigotry are the among the realist I've seen in a book for this age group. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

  19. 5 out of 5

    Glennie

    Great read. Very interesting to learn about how people felt about deafness in this period of history. And also very interesting about the history of the Wampanoag Nation. (be sure and read the extra footnotes at the end of the story)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laiba

    this sounds so beautiful!!! i need it now.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This follow-up to the author's earlier Show Me a Sign is a 3.5 for me. Three years have passed since Mary Lambert, now 14, was kidnapped and studied by scientists in Boston. Not surprisingly, she still suffers from the effects of that traumatic experience and her dramatic rescue, but she's recently been finding it hard to be content with the quiet, domestic life that seems to be her lot on Martha's Vineyard where her family lives. Stymied in her attempts to write a history of the deaf community This follow-up to the author's earlier Show Me a Sign is a 3.5 for me. Three years have passed since Mary Lambert, now 14, was kidnapped and studied by scientists in Boston. Not surprisingly, she still suffers from the effects of that traumatic experience and her dramatic rescue, but she's recently been finding it hard to be content with the quiet, domestic life that seems to be her lot on Martha's Vineyard where her family lives. Stymied in her attempts to write a history of the deaf community on the island, suffering from writer's block, and missing her best friend Nancy who has followed her musical ambitions while living with her uncle outside Boston, Mary seizes the opportunity presented to her by Nora O'Neal, the woman who helped her when she was captured. Nora invites Mary to visit Vale, an estate where she is working and try to communicate through sign language with the niece of her mistress. Mary seeks advice from Mrs. Pye, the local teacher, and sets off with good intentions. What she discovers when she arrives at the estate is an eight-year-old girl being treated like an animal and kept confined in an upstairs room. In scenes reminiscent of The Miracle Worker between Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Mary slowly gains the child--she later learns her name is Beatrice--and discovers the truth of her situation. The novel is set during the early 1800s when Thomas Jefferson was President. This historical novel highlights the prejudicial attitudes toward those who were deaf or hearing impaired but also toward indigenous populations and women as well as Blacks. Interestingly, when Mary meets Nancy's feminist friends, she finds it troubling that neither Nancy nor they bother to learn the name of the maid who serves them, simply calling her Sissy. While I'm not sure that Mary would have been aware of this as a slave name, the incident does show her growing confidence and awareness that all is not right or fair in the world around her. I enjoyed this one almost as much as the previous one although I wondered at Beatrice's family giving so much power and control over their butler, the despicable Mr. Norwich, as well as being surprised that he would have allowed Nora to invite yet another insider into the household, especially one as young as Mary. Still, this book offers a glimpse into a part of history and a population not often the subject of literature for children and teens.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    Three years after being kidnapped and made into a “live specimen” to determine the cause of her deafness, 14-year-old Mary Lambert is asked to leave Martha’s Vineyard for the mainland again. This time to help a young girl to communicate with sign language. Mary can’t help but wonder if a child of eight who has had no prior experience with language is even capable of grasping what she needs to communicate. Still weary of leaving her Deaf community and being around people who don’t sign, Mary gets Three years after being kidnapped and made into a “live specimen” to determine the cause of her deafness, 14-year-old Mary Lambert is asked to leave Martha’s Vineyard for the mainland again. This time to help a young girl to communicate with sign language. Mary can’t help but wonder if a child of eight who has had no prior experience with language is even capable of grasping what she needs to communicate. Still weary of leaving her Deaf community and being around people who don’t sign, Mary gets encouragement from her old teacher and agrees to go. But, when she arrives at the manor, Mary quickly discovers there is so much more to the girl’s story, more than she could have ever imagined, and now, giving the girl freedom has much more meaning… and risk. Set Me Free is the sequel to the book Show Me a Sign. Though Mary references events that have happened in the first book, Set Me Free can still stand as its own story. Like the first book, Set Me Free explores prejudices against those who are different: Deaf, Indigenous, Black, Poor, and Female. It also explored colonialism and feminism. I got really into this book and finished it in a day because I kept flipping pages, wanting to find out how Mary was going to help this young girl out. This is a great historical fiction book for middle grade readers as it brings up a lot of stuff - LeZotte even has footnotes in the back of the book to explain things more. It's also nice to see some American Sign Language in a book with it's language and culture talked about. Mary even brings up the regional nuances of Martha's Vineyard ASL, which is nice to see. I would recommend this book as a sequel or even a stand alone to both middle grade readers and those older.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Loved the first book and was delighted to see there was a second. The way LeZotte wrote this one, you can read it without reading the first, but reading the first makes this one so much richer. Mary narrates her early 1800s story incredibly well; I couldn't imagine this novel being written in third person. This book continues to explore prejudices against people who are different (deaf, indigenous, black, poor, female) as it also explores colonialism and feminism. At 14, some of Mary's observati Loved the first book and was delighted to see there was a second. The way LeZotte wrote this one, you can read it without reading the first, but reading the first makes this one so much richer. Mary narrates her early 1800s story incredibly well; I couldn't imagine this novel being written in third person. This book continues to explore prejudices against people who are different (deaf, indigenous, black, poor, female) as it also explores colonialism and feminism. At 14, some of Mary's observations (and her strength) seem too mature for her, and because they are not fully developed, it feels as if the author mentions them to tap into today's #woke world in order to cover all her bases. For some reason, this doesn't bother me the way it usually would. In fact, the many topics would be great conversation starting points. This one book could be used to pique interest in further research; this could be a good middle school class read. Mary's voice rings wonderfully true, and I delighted in her tenacity even when she doubted her abilities to help Ladybird. LeZotte includes notes on people and events referenced in the book such as the Wampanoag nation, Mary Wollstonecraft, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cathie

    upper elementary, middle grades first-person POV sequel to Show Me a Sign historical own voices Mary Lambert (now 14) lives on the island of Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod in 1805. She is deaf, like her father, although her mother and brother are hearing. In fact, almost 20% of the islanders are deaf so everyone signs, hearing or not. Mary has recovered from her kidnapping ordeal of a few years ago, and still wants to become a teacher. She receives a letter from Nora, who was sympathetic and helped he upper elementary, middle grades first-person POV sequel to Show Me a Sign historical own voices Mary Lambert (now 14) lives on the island of Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod in 1805. She is deaf, like her father, although her mother and brother are hearing. In fact, almost 20% of the islanders are deaf so everyone signs, hearing or not. Mary has recovered from her kidnapping ordeal of a few years ago, and still wants to become a teacher. She receives a letter from Nora, who was sympathetic and helped her during her ordeal. Nora is working at a large estate not far from Quincy, where Mary's friend Nancy is staying with her uncle and studying piano. Nora says there is a young girl being kept in the attic who seems to be feral, but Nora wonders if she might be deaf and if Mary could help. Mary is determined to help if she can and sets off. She meets resistance from the butler at the estate but manages to make contact with the child. She becomes concerned that the girl has been harmed and is in danger, so she enlists Nancy and her uncle to help rescue the child. Mary is still determined, feisty, and caring, and she does return the girl to her rightful family. There are notes at the end about sign language, hereditary deafness, deaf education, and the Wampanoag tribe.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    While I didn't love this as much as Show Me A Sign, I still really enjoyed it. It was surprising how much more there was in this book versus the first one. This wasn't simply a story about two deaf young women. Deafness and other disabilities were the prominent topic, but there was so much talk of women's rights, racism toward blacks and indigenous people, patriotism, etc. My favorite part of reading historical fiction is that you can learn as you enjoy. That is what this books did, I learned th While I didn't love this as much as Show Me A Sign, I still really enjoyed it. It was surprising how much more there was in this book versus the first one. This wasn't simply a story about two deaf young women. Deafness and other disabilities were the prominent topic, but there was so much talk of women's rights, racism toward blacks and indigenous people, patriotism, etc. My favorite part of reading historical fiction is that you can learn as you enjoy. That is what this books did, I learned things about various people and cultures but I also enjoyed seeing how Mary has grown and hearing more of her life. I also really like that the author doesn't shy away from truths of the time period. Especially when writing for youths, some people tend to want to gloss over some of the details. Even characters in the book kept trying to shield Mary, but she knew that she could handle the truth and she needed to know it in order to help.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Klissia

    Não achei essa sequel tão interessante e atraente como o primeiro livro, esperava mais desenvolvimento da trama,relacionamento entre personagens, e o uso da linguagem de sinais como instrumento social e aproximação entre Mary e Ladybird. Porém ainda bom, já que um livro voltado pro leitor infanto juvenil. Percebi nuances de "Jane Eyre " na estória, um passarinho preso e silenciado pronto pra voar. Não achei essa sequel tão interessante e atraente como o primeiro livro, esperava mais desenvolvimento da trama,relacionamento entre personagens, e o uso da linguagem de sinais como instrumento social e aproximação entre Mary e Ladybird. Porém ainda bom, já que um livro voltado pro leitor infanto juvenil. Percebi nuances de "Jane Eyre " na estória, um passarinho preso e silenciado pronto pra voar.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Asani Powell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Asani Brian

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aneshka

    I didn’t find it to be nearly as compelling as the first book

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    http://mshenreviewsthings.blogspot.co... http://mshenreviewsthings.blogspot.co...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Very good sequel but quite heavy handed.

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