‘Give Me a Sign’ by Anna Sortino

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino is a story that unfolds at a summer camp for the deaf. The tale of love is both charming and authentic. 

Imagine if every conversation you had had the potential for a language gap, a misunderstanding, or the inability to understand the speaker clearly. Consider further if talking to your family members was just as challenging.  

This is Lilah’s experience in Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortines. Lilah is deaf, although she can hear a bit using hearing aids. No one in her family knows American Sign Language (ASL), nor do her friends at school. The author does an excellent job portraying Lilah’s experience by rendering dialogue with missing words, for example, “Lilah, would you like to _______ me at _________ tomorrow?”  

Gray Wolf, a camp for the deaf or blind, is where Lilah always felt like her best self, finally no longer an outsider. When Lilah is invited to return to Gray Wolf as a junior counselor, she jumps at the opportunity. 

If you’ve ever been to summer camp, you know that the experience seems turbo-charged; friendships formed can be as meaningful as those forged over a much longer timeline. When Lilah meets Isaac, it’s like-at-first-sight, and those feelings deepen as the summer continues. The love story that unfolds is both charming and authentic. 

More importantly, Lilah will determine her identity at Gray Wolf, learning that different situations call for unique solutions. Sometimes that is lip reading, sometimes, it means using ASL, and sometimes it means using her hearing aids. Ultimately, she learns that it’s ok to ask people to meet her just where she is. 

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What others are saying about Give Me a Sign:

Readers will love this sincere Deaf coming-of-age story. -Kirkus   

Through Lilah’s frank and sincere first-person POV, Sortino highlights a variety of Deaf experiences, exploring the community’s pride and culture, as well as the trauma some Deaf individuals face in interactions with strangers and loved ones alike. Publishers Weekly starred review   

Sortino seamlessly blends spoken & signed dialogue, highlights a myriad of systemic issues facing the Deaf community, and showcases community thriving around disability difference. A sweet, summery coming-of-age story (with a hint of romance) that’s equal parts fun and important! The Southern Bookseller 

About the Author – Anna Sortino

Anna Sortino is a young adult author who writes stories about disabled characters living their lives and falling in love. She’s Deaf and passionate about diverse representation in media. Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Anna has since lived in different cities from coast to coast, spending her free time exploring nature with her dog or reading on the couch with her cat. Give Me a Sign is her debut novel.



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