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How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion



Dial Books for Young Readers

(Penguin Random House)

Published April 2022 40 pages

Author: Shannon Stocker

Illustrator: Devon Holzwarth

Character: Evelyn Glennie


"From the moment Evelyn Glennie heard her first note, music held her heart. She played the piano by ear at age eight, and the clarinet by age ten. But soon, the nerves in her ears began to deteriorate, and Evelyn was told that, as a deaf girl, she could never be a musician.

What sounds Evelyn couldn’t hear with her ears, though, she could feel resonate through her body as if she, herself, were a drum. And the music she created was extraordinary. Evelyn Glennie had learned how to listen in a new way. And soon, the world was listening too."

Tantalizing taste:

" She listened to the buzz of the wide world around her.

VROOM! Distant trucks zoomed by.

Evelyn's legs listened, hum, hum, humming with the rattle of the road.

WAH-WAH-WAH. Muffled voices muttered through an underwater fog.

Evelyn's eyes listened, turning murmurs into words.

Thrum hum-hum-hum

Evelyn became so sensitive to each vibration that she could tune an instrument based only on where she felt the vibrations in her body."

And something more: Shannon Stocker, in the Author's Note, explains: "I was fortunate enough to talk with Evelyn many times, which allowed me to write a story that reflects her true experiences. During our discussion, I asked her what message she'd like young readers to hear. Her simple answer resonated: 'Create your own story,' she said. 'You cannot wait for things to happen to you. You must make your own opportunities.'

...She may not listen like a 'hearing' person, but she listens nonetheless. And now she's made it her mission to teach the world to listen too...

She has accepted more than one hundred international awards and honorary doctorates including two Grammy Awards..."


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