This morning’s Scholastic Coffee Chat was very inspirational. At today’s 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference, Scholastic’s editor, Tracy Mack and author Ann Clare LeZotte spoke together about LeZotte’s newest book “Set Me Free.” While I’m watching on my laptop, I could tell the two have a very special relationship that has been developed over the last few years from working together.
Mack asked LeZotte questions about her book. LeZotte, then answered them in two languages, English and in American Sign Language. I could tell from the chat responses of the participants that LeZotte’s words were creating very emotional responses.
LeZotte is deaf and a former librarian. She drew her inspiration for her book from her own life and those of others she has interacted with over the years. As someone who’s parents were told by doctors to not teach her ASL, she had many lonely days. But as she came to learn ASL she was then able to communicate with teens in the library and hear their stories. When Mack asked her about how she started writing, LeZotte said she always felt the power of words. “I feel whole writing,” said LeZotte.
LeZotte’s book, “Set Me Free,” is about two deaf characters where one can sign and the other cannot. The story develops with the growing relationship of two. This fictional story was thoughtfully researched with the Scholastic team and appropriate for the middle grade reader.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.