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Goodbye Tchaikovsky Paperback – 2012
Congratulations to Michael Thal for the "Honorable Mention" for Goodbye Tchaikovsky in the Hollywood Book Festival 2012 and in the Paris Book Festival 2013!
"Highly recommended." The Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch May 2012
"I recommend this book to any young adult or teenager who is going through hearing loss or other disability." Valerie Stern, Psychotherapist
"...a touching portrayal of a boy who just wants to fit in, but finds himself pulled between the hearing and the deaf world. Ultimately, what he really needs to find is himself". Bergers Book Reviews
"...thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read." Jan Seeley, Temple Beth Solomon for the Deaf
"...central to my experience as a writer for kids of all ages was how universal Thal made his character’s experience" Gail Hedrick, former teacher, freelance writer, and editor.
A twelve-year-old violin virtuoso, David Rothman, is plunged into a deaf world, necessitating him to adapt to a new culture and language in order to survive. Rothman is an overnight success. He performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in New York’s Symphony Hall 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 birthday, David suffers from a sudden and irreparable hearing loss, plunging him into a silent world. Written from his own perspective, the novel shows how an adolescent boy sets about coping with this devastating new condition. It takes time. How will he communicate with his friends? What can he do about school? How do you deal with unexpected and possibly dangerous situations? What will his future be like?
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Top Customer Reviews
-Hope Irvin Marston, author of EYE ON THE IDITAROD: AISLING'S QUEST.
I received a free copy of the book from the author and was asked to give my honest review.
Goodbye Tchaikovsky is excellent on many levels.
First, obviously, it is an introduction to what it is like to be deaf in a hearing world, presented so the young reader identifies with David’s experiences on an emotional level.
Second, it is a primer on empathy. "What if that happened to me?" Michael's choice of hero is perfect. The underlying message is, "What if I lost the ability to do the activity that gives me meaning in life, joy and purpose?" A teenager with a passion for basketball might imagine what it would be like after breaking his neck, another who lives for computer games may think of blindness or a paralyzed hand...
Third, Michael deals with the issue of stigma and discrimination, showing that, whether you are Christian or Jewish, ethically Japanese or Caucasian, deaf or hearing, you deserve respect, compassion, decency, and love.
If you, or someone you care for, are struck by a handicap such as deafness, you can draw instruction and inspiration from this book. However, any teenager will enjoy reading about David's journey, and benefit from the underlying lessons within Goodbye Tchaikovsky.
When twelve year-old budding violin virtuoso David Rothman wakens from sleep the day after his birthday celebration, he is greeted with a devastating “gift.” David cannot hear a thing. He is deaf. How ironic.
Goodbye Tchaikovsky is the story of David’s journey from the depths of self pity and despair to the height of embracing life. The story follows David through his teenage years as he turns from his passion, the violin and struggles to cope with his hearing loss while encountering the tremendous pressures all teenagers face. Will David triumph? Will David grow and embrace life or will he fail?
This story is especially meaningful for all teenagers, who are beginning to face life’s challenges at the same time that they are adjusting to peer pressures and their self images. I highly recommend this book by Michael Thal, himself a hearing impaired retired teacher. Michael, who lost his hearing later in life, has firsthand knowledge of his protagonists handicap and struggles.
David Rothman loses his hearing at the age of twelve to a hereditary problem he knew nothing about. There is no warning, no gradual loss. One day, David is rejoicing after a virtuoso solo performance at Symphony Hall in New York. His performance receives rave reviews, and he's excited about a future performance for the Queen of England in London. David returns home to celebrate his twelfth birthday, and the next morning he wakes up deaf.
Michael Thal brings us this story of personal triumph giving way to disaster into the forefront. His character, David, lives and breathes the violin. He is a hardworking prodigy, but now his world is forever silent. The reader experiences David's loss as he does. We walk the sad path where he stumbles, but he picks himself up with assistance from unexpected sources. Sometimes, adults show David the way, but as he slowly accepts his disability and makes his own decisions about his future, he finds himself on a path far different from what he once envisioned.
Adversity is something people face daily. Thal weaves a tale of overcoming an overwhelming and terrifying situation with grace and humor. I recommend this book not only for tween and teen boys, but also for their parents, grandparents, and families. David's courage as he straddles the hearing and deaf worlds shines throughout the story.
On a personal note, I connected with this story from the parallels in my own life. My teenage son had an accident in middle school, where he punctured an ear drum. He plays the saxophone – alto, tenor, and is currently learning the baritone. We held our breath until he healed, but I could see myself in the place of David and his mother easily. Thank you, Michael Thal, for this moving tale of overcoming a major obstacle.