Helen – (@helenbyles)
Introducing SPUD, Aka The Super Perceptive Undercover Detectives.
When items start to go missing in the village SPUD take matters into their own hands and try to solve the mystery. This is exactly what Callie needs, she just been given hearing aids and she hates them, she calls them her slugs. But when she meets Bo the Mynah she realises that she can actually hear the bird talk.
So we follow the clues and if your reading this out loud like I did then its great for speculating on the outcome. This is the first book of what is going to be an amazing series.
I wish this book had been out 9 years ago. When my youngest son was a baby it was discovered that he had some hearing loss, he went through all the tests that Callie went through, after 3 operations we were told he would be lucky to have any hearing. But he was one of the lucky ones and fast forward 9 years his hearing is perfect. Reading this book brought back so many memories flooding back. Had this book been around I’d have used it to make my oldest child understand what is happening. This book brings a positive attitude to wearing hearing aids, and a lot of young children will emphasis with Callie. There is alot of Empathy in this book.
This book also touches on bullying and grief, all of these subjects are handled with sensitivity and the subjects are gently covered.
This will go straight into my school library because it is a must have book, that shines a bright light on disabilities. There should be more books like this.
Sam – (@SamJDThomas)
When I first saw this book’s cover I instantly loved the title, the play on word spelling, and how it reminded me of when I learnt how to play the piano, with different notes in major or minor. This is so very apt given that the main character, Callie Major, finds herself with the ability to hear an adorable little bird that visits her, a Mynah, and all through her having hearing aids fitted.
Many aspects to having a hearing impairment are covered in this book, from the day to day experiences that Callie has prior to having hearing aids fitted such as not being able to hear the instructions her parents are giving her, through to her having to learn to adjust to hearing every sound around her when adjusting to having her hearing aids, or slugs as she calls them, in. There is also the reaction others have to Callie’s new appearance, which she is conscious of, reflected in this story, and these are both positive and negative. Callie’s best friend Grace is both supportive and encouraging throughout, and yet a fellow school student, Tamsin, is cruel and unkind to Callie.
The adventure that Callie and Grace have, along with Mynah, the bird that Callie is able to hear whenever she is wearing her hearing aids is utterly brilliant. Collectively they are determined to solve mysteries that are unfolding around them, which involve items going missing, and the trio show true determination and resolve as they go about doing so. The file type pages they create as a part of the mystery gang they belong to are included in this book, making it fun to see and feel more immersed in their world as the reader, and there are some fantastic illustrations throughout the book that are the works of illustrator Louise Forshaw, all of which truly bring the story to life on the page for early chapter book readers.
To see that the next adventure in this brand new series is due to be published in Spring 2023 is exciting news for anyone that has the pleasure of reading Major and Mynah, and I am delighted to be able to recommend a new book, and series, that allows children with hearing impairments and hearing aids to see themselves represented in books just as much as I will enjoy encouraging younger readers to accompany this trio on the mystery solving adventure that is truly representative of so much that is relevant to them, and all within around 130 pages! Incredible!