Adria F. Klein
After meeting Susan, a Deaf classmate who uses sign language to communicate, Max decides to enroll in an after-school sign language class so that he can learn to communicate with her. Max’s teacher shows him how to sign many words and gives him a book with which to practice. The next time Max sees Susan, he makes the sign for friend and asks her if she’d like to ride her bike to the park with him. He and Susan become friends. This book introduces the concept of sign language to readers who may be unfamiliar with it but falls short of providing a complete explanation of hearing impairments, deafness, or Deaf culture to children. Illustrations are bright and colorful, but are inconsistent in their depiction of signs and the meanings of signs. This book is another in the series of “Read-It! Readers Red Level” which, according to the publisher, “presents familiar topics using common words and repeating sentence patterns.” Recommended with reservations for elementary and intermediate grade students who want to learn more about sign language. Teachers who want to use the book in their classrooms should plan to add supplementary material.