Without Speech, by June Keir

Emily’s blue eyes filled with tears. If only she could speak for herself. At times like these, she felt almost overwhelmed by the difficulties of having cerebral palsy. In utter frustration she banged her feet on the footrest of her wheelchair.

Emily just wants to be like the other kids. She wants to be allowed into the playground without adult supervision, so she can be part of things. But the school principal is worried for her safety, and says Emily needs someone with her. Emily can’t speak for herself to prove that she can cope – she can’t speak at all, and has only eight words on her communication board.

With the help of her friend Jade and her teachers, Emily learns a different way of communication and, when she sees something suspicious happening in the playground, gets a chance to show the prinicpal just what she is capable of.

Without Speech is part of the new Breakers series from Macmillan Education. This title is aimed at children with a reading age of around 10 years and is suitable for both classroom use and private reading.

It is a pleasure to find a chapter book with a disabled main character. Readers are given Emily’s viewpoint on the frustrations she must face and also see her proactive in solving some of her problems.

Without Speech, by June Keir
Macmillan Education, 2003