A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard

Reviewed by K. Yanna, June 2019

Steffi is selectively mute, as in, she doesn’t talk. In school she relies on her best friend, Tem, to speak for her. When Tem goes to college, Steffi is on her own. A new deaf boy, Rhys, comes to her school, and Steffi is assigned to look after him. With her basic knowledge of sign language, the two communicate with little words exchanged. Steffi discovers her voice as she falls in love with the person who makes her feel strong enough to use it.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder has a quiet kind of impact. Steffi is anxious and shy, so “throw the two together, add some kind of brain-signal error--a NO ENTRY sign on the neural highway from my brain to my mouth” and you have her condition. She evolves from a shy girl who wouldn’t speak to classmates to asking a stranger for help. How Steffie slowly becomes more of the person she wants to be, is stirring.

If you enjoy books by John Green or Girl in Pieces, then I would recommend A Quiet Kind of Thunder.