The Boy Who Found His Voice

Farrar. Jun. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374389673.
Gr 2-4–In this semi-autobiographical picture book, Gordon shares the story of Tyler, a boy who stutters. Tyler struggles with being tongue-tied at school, his tongue depicted as long and snarled. With show-and-tell coming up, Tyler becomes increasingly nervous and self-conscious of his speech impediment. Thanks to some help from his mom and his outlet as an artist, Tyler is able to illustrate how he is feeling for the class presentation. At the end, the hero of the story promotes another book written and illustrated by Gordon, the author. Gordon is a talented illustrator, especially when it comes to depicting key words. When Tyler’s words are stuck, the word “STUCK” appears huge, bold, and in a tangled knot of lines like his tongue. His mother’s soothing words are drawn with a calming green color. Tyler has brown skin and natural hair. Gordon shares his own story in an author’s note at the end.
VERDICT Collections of all sizes can welcome this book, which fosters empathy for those with speech challenges.

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