From Publishers Weekly
Combining memoir and reportage, Cohen provides a sensitive, intimate portrait of a New York City school for the deaf and the issues facing the deaf community. Cohen is not deaf, but her father heads the Lexington School, and she grew up there. She tracks the progress of two students: Sofia, a Russian immigrant bravely learning a second sign language and a new American world; and ghetto-raised James, who finds stability after moving into the school dormitory. Cohen analyzes the fierce debates over mainstreaming the deaf, the value of oralism and whether new cochlear implants rob the deaf of their culture. She tenderly recalls her deaf grandparents, probes her father's dilemmas, reports on her frustrated romance with a deaf man and her work as an interpreter in a program for deaf adults at the City University of New York. She portrays sign language with wonderfully tactile prose--the word "silence," for example, is signed with "austere arcs." If Cohen's narrative is disjointed, her commitment and her descriptive gifts make her book memorable.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-Cohen draws upon her experiences as the hearing grandchild of deaf immigrants to combine personal stories of hearing-impaired individuals with related aspects of deaf culture. Using her first home and her father's place of employment, the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York City, to connect characters and experiences, she shares tales of activities familiar to young adults-boring classes, the school play, selling ads for the yearbook, graduation. The only difference for these students is that they cannot hear and cannot speak the language of the hearing world. Through Cohen, readers share in the challenges, frustrations, fears, triumphs, and joys of achievement not only of these young people, but, through historical vignettes, of her grandparents as well. This perspective allows readers to determine how (or if) life has changed for the deaf in America. A careful reading of Train Go Sorry provides exposure to the urban poor and our country's many immigrants (both past and present), making this a resource suitable for sociology or history students interested in viewing the American melting pot through the eyes of a group of people with a silent past. Janis Ansell, Tidewater Association Hearing Impaired Children (TAHIC), Virginia Beach, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.