By: Samantha Wheeler
Published by: University of Queensland Press
ISBN: 9780702260278


Sf Book Of The Month


Ava would like nothing more than to tell her family she loves them, particularly her big sister, Nic. But Ava has Rett syndrome - she can't talk, can't nod her head, can't even point at a communication card. She understands everything, but no one understands her.

When tragedy strikes her family, Ava becomes even more determined to talk. But it's not until she meets occupational therapist Kieran and new friend Aimee that she is hopeful for change - and to find her voice at last.

A powerful novel about a subject rarely tackled - young people with disabilities and the families who love and support them.


Samantha Wheeler is fast becoming a favourite author at Lamont Books. Previously she has     written terrific novels for primary students, and now she is writing for a slightly older upper primary/lower secondary audience on a topic close to her heart, Rett Syndrome.

Rett Syndrome effects 1 in 8,500 girls, as boys don’t survive long after birth. It slowly takes hold,  between the ages of 6 and 18 months, and one of those sufferers is Samantha’s youngest daughter.

Our story begins with Ava at about 13, who cannot communicate or walk and suffers seizures. Through her eyes we see a normal person  -  a person invisible to the rest of the world. The rest of the world, including her older sister Nic, only see the trouble she causes.

After her Dad suffers a stroke, her Mum realises she needs help, and with this help, comes a hope that there could be more to life for Ava.

This is a fantastic and eye-opening story of hope, that is beautifully written. Ava’s story will touch hearts and provide understanding about this insidious syndrome, the girls who suffer from it, and the treatments that could make their lives better.

An wonderful novel with themes of family, health, acceptance and perseverance that will be loved by many 10-  14 year-old readers.

Reviewed by Rob