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Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

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This inspiring picture book tells the true story of world-famous deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. This is a story of music. Of obstacles. Of strength and hard work. Of all you can accomplish when you dream. As a child, Evelyn Glennie's ears began to hurt. Voices became distant whispers. Ringing phones sounded like muffled crunches in her ears. But when she was told that This inspiring picture book tells the true story of world-famous deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. This is a story of music. Of obstacles. Of strength and hard work. Of all you can accomplish when you dream. As a child, Evelyn Glennie's ears began to hurt. Voices became distant whispers. Ringing phones sounded like muffled crunches in her ears. But when she was told that she would need to wear hearing aids for the rest of her life, Evelyn was determined that this this would never stop her from playing music. Instead of giving up on her dreams, Evelyn found new ways to listen... With stunning illustrations from Devon Holzwarth, and a special note from Evelyn Glennie herself, this is the perfect book to inspire children to never give up on their dreams.


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This inspiring picture book tells the true story of world-famous deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. This is a story of music. Of obstacles. Of strength and hard work. Of all you can accomplish when you dream. As a child, Evelyn Glennie's ears began to hurt. Voices became distant whispers. Ringing phones sounded like muffled crunches in her ears. But when she was told that This inspiring picture book tells the true story of world-famous deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. This is a story of music. Of obstacles. Of strength and hard work. Of all you can accomplish when you dream. As a child, Evelyn Glennie's ears began to hurt. Voices became distant whispers. Ringing phones sounded like muffled crunches in her ears. But when she was told that she would need to wear hearing aids for the rest of her life, Evelyn was determined that this this would never stop her from playing music. Instead of giving up on her dreams, Evelyn found new ways to listen... With stunning illustrations from Devon Holzwarth, and a special note from Evelyn Glennie herself, this is the perfect book to inspire children to never give up on their dreams.

30 review for Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    I'm so glad to know about the life and musicianship of Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist who attended music school and became a solo musician despite initially being told she couldn't become a musician. If you think a deaf person can't be a musician or that there's only one way to hear (with our ears), check out this book! I'm so glad to know about the life and musicianship of Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist who attended music school and became a solo musician despite initially being told she couldn't become a musician. If you think a deaf person can't be a musician or that there's only one way to hear (with our ears), check out this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Worthen

    This is an incredible story that is inspiring to kids and grown ups alike! The author tells the story beautifully, in a way that helps the reader feel the story, much like Evelyn learned to feel the music. This is the ultimate story that teaches its readers to question and push through the limits set by ourselves and others. The gorgeous illustrations make the story dance off the page. Highly recommend this gem of a book!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jolynne Dougherty

    Incredible story of how a Evelyn Glennie, a gifted musician lost her hearing, but persevered and became the first person to become a full-time solo percussionist. It talks about how hearing is basically feeling because the soundwaves hit on the eardrum and become converted to electric impulses that are heard, but that she was able to "listen" to those soundwaves with other parts of her body, and because she was a gifted musician, and because her deafness didn't change that gift, she was able to Incredible story of how a Evelyn Glennie, a gifted musician lost her hearing, but persevered and became the first person to become a full-time solo percussionist. It talks about how hearing is basically feeling because the soundwaves hit on the eardrum and become converted to electric impulses that are heard, but that she was able to "listen" to those soundwaves with other parts of her body, and because she was a gifted musician, and because her deafness didn't change that gift, she was able to continue to make music as a soloist and as a member of musical ensembles.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This picture book biography tells a fascinating story in a wonderfully stylistic, vibrant, and inspiring way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    "Losing my hearing made me a better listener." This is the remarkable story of Evelyn Glennie, who loved and played music as a young child, but became deaf a few years later. It was suggested she go to a deaf school, and forget about music. But instead, she stands up for herself and goes to a traditional school, where again, she is discouraged but perseveres with the help of an open-minded (and open-eared) teacher named Mr. Forbes. He helps her discover the true sound of music, minus her hearing "Losing my hearing made me a better listener." This is the remarkable story of Evelyn Glennie, who loved and played music as a young child, but became deaf a few years later. It was suggested she go to a deaf school, and forget about music. But instead, she stands up for herself and goes to a traditional school, where again, she is discouraged but perseveres with the help of an open-minded (and open-eared) teacher named Mr. Forbes. He helps her discover the true sound of music, minus her hearing aids and shoes. The illustrations by Devon Holzworth do a great job at making this sound transition visual. Author Shannon Stocker has given us lots of sound-words that flow along the pages and really make it come alive. The story continues with Evelyn's amazing accomplishments right up to the present day. SO interesting and eye (and ear) opening!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terry Jennings

    Music still swirled and whirled for Evelyn Glennie, even though she could no longer hear it. She was ten years old. You’ll never play music again, the doctors said. But Evelyn found percussion, but more importantly, Evelyn learned to listen, really listen, with her whole body. With the help of a teacher, and helped by the piano education she’d received before she lost her hearing, Evelyn learned to play percussion. She learned to feel the music in her heart and in her body. She became a master a Music still swirled and whirled for Evelyn Glennie, even though she could no longer hear it. She was ten years old. You’ll never play music again, the doctors said. But Evelyn found percussion, but more importantly, Evelyn learned to listen, really listen, with her whole body. With the help of a teacher, and helped by the piano education she’d received before she lost her hearing, Evelyn learned to play percussion. She learned to feel the music in her heart and in her body. She became a master at her art, so much so, that she was knighted by the Queen of England. Author Shannon Stocker knew Evelyn Glennie and she was inspired by Evelyn Glinnie’s journey and success to deal with her own challenges. Devon Holzwarth’s Evelyn will steal your heart, and Shannon Stocker's text will fill it with wonder.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katey Howes

    A fascinating and inspiring read, LISTEN tells the story of a young lady who loved music from childhood. When her hearing became impaired during childhood, some thought she would not, could not, should not continue to enjoy and play music - but Evelyn proved them wrong. This book tells Evelyn's story beautifully, as she works with an understanding teacher to explore persuasion, as she learns the many ways her body can sense rhythm, vibration, and music, and as she breaks through barriers in scho A fascinating and inspiring read, LISTEN tells the story of a young lady who loved music from childhood. When her hearing became impaired during childhood, some thought she would not, could not, should not continue to enjoy and play music - but Evelyn proved them wrong. This book tells Evelyn's story beautifully, as she works with an understanding teacher to explore persuasion, as she learns the many ways her body can sense rhythm, vibration, and music, and as she breaks through barriers in schools, academies, and the music industry at large. With swirling, floating, energizing art and a repeated encouragement for the reader to "listen," Stocker and Holzworth draw readers in to the facts and the emotions of one very inspirational true story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    June Smalls

    This book grabs you right from the first lines. Evelyn Glennie loved music and was born to play. She didn't let going profoundly deaf stop her. The back matter explains that Evelyn describes the ability to hear as similar to the ability to touch. Ears feel the vibrating air, her bare feet feel the vibrating floor. Her determination and a wonderful teacher who was willing to listen when Evelyn needed it allowed her to follow her dreams of music, even if the path wasn't straight. There is so much This book grabs you right from the first lines. Evelyn Glennie loved music and was born to play. She didn't let going profoundly deaf stop her. The back matter explains that Evelyn describes the ability to hear as similar to the ability to touch. Ears feel the vibrating air, her bare feet feel the vibrating floor. Her determination and a wonderful teacher who was willing to listen when Evelyn needed it allowed her to follow her dreams of music, even if the path wasn't straight. There is so much information, yet it flows so well, you don't even realize how much you just took in. Even the illustrations in this book sing. There is movement and power and emotion. The words whisper, grow, crescendo, and you are left wanting to shout, "Encore!" This book is a must read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Norene Paulson

    Evelyn did not listen when others told her losing her hearing would force her to give up on her dreams of becoming a musician. In this empowering biography, Shannon Stocker and Devon Holzwarth, tell the story of Evelyn Glennie, the renowned deaf percussionist, who did not let her deafness stand in the way of pursuing her dreams. Together, Stocker's lively, lyrical text and Holzwarth's rich, rhythmic illustrations reverberate across the pages sweeping the reader off on a musical, literary tale of Evelyn did not listen when others told her losing her hearing would force her to give up on her dreams of becoming a musician. In this empowering biography, Shannon Stocker and Devon Holzwarth, tell the story of Evelyn Glennie, the renowned deaf percussionist, who did not let her deafness stand in the way of pursuing her dreams. Together, Stocker's lively, lyrical text and Holzwarth's rich, rhythmic illustrations reverberate across the pages sweeping the reader off on a musical, literary tale of young woman who listened only to her heart, and in doing so, defied all odds and made her dreams come true. Highly recommend this biography for all public, school, and home libraries. It's a must-have!

  10. 4 out of 5

    S.K. Wenger

    Sometimes, it's the things we're told that we can't do which inspire us the most. Such is the inspiring message of this book, where a young girl going through the heart-breaking and tremendously stressful experience of losing her hearing is determined not to lose the one thing she loves--creating music. This book will not only inspire students to go after their dreams, but also open their eyes (and ears) to the physics of sound. As a science teacher, I love this book not only for its story and b Sometimes, it's the things we're told that we can't do which inspire us the most. Such is the inspiring message of this book, where a young girl going through the heart-breaking and tremendously stressful experience of losing her hearing is determined not to lose the one thing she loves--creating music. This book will not only inspire students to go after their dreams, but also open their eyes (and ears) to the physics of sound. As a science teacher, I love this book not only for its story and beautiful text, but also for the subject. In our state our students begin learning about sound and sound waves in elementary school, which lands LISTEN with an A++++

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hovorka

    This is a picture book biography about a deaf girl who wanted to pursue a career in music. As a child, she was told no, but with the support of her parents, she pushed through to excel in primary school, then music school, then in the world. Many picture book biographies have a perseverance theme, and this one does too, but additionally, it highlights other inspiring themes. It shows that a disability doesn't have to hold one back, and can add more, and it shows the importance of listening to yo This is a picture book biography about a deaf girl who wanted to pursue a career in music. As a child, she was told no, but with the support of her parents, she pushed through to excel in primary school, then music school, then in the world. Many picture book biographies have a perseverance theme, and this one does too, but additionally, it highlights other inspiring themes. It shows that a disability doesn't have to hold one back, and can add more, and it shows the importance of listening to yourself and to others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Pendreigh

    This gorgeous lyrical biography sweeps us into Evelyn Glennie’s childhood with such energetic, swirling, language we feel like we are right there, in a live audience, listening to a storyteller perform. The rich, flowing illustrations perfectly match the lively language—I especially loved the vibrant, detailed plumes and swirls depicting sound and music. Those beautiful shapes, paired with the use of onomatopoeia, make music a second character in this joyful story of a gifted musician. Highly re This gorgeous lyrical biography sweeps us into Evelyn Glennie’s childhood with such energetic, swirling, language we feel like we are right there, in a live audience, listening to a storyteller perform. The rich, flowing illustrations perfectly match the lively language—I especially loved the vibrant, detailed plumes and swirls depicting sound and music. Those beautiful shapes, paired with the use of onomatopoeia, make music a second character in this joyful story of a gifted musician. Highly recommend!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Riffing on the theme of the sense of sound, LISTEN is an inspiring and uplifting biography of a girl who wouldn’t let becoming deaf defeat her dream of becoming a musician. With lyrical language as rhythmic as music, author Shannon Stocker takes us into the heart and soul of Evelyn Glennie and her struggles and ultimate triumph. Illustrator Devon Holzwarth infuses the story with a musicality by wielding strokes like a symphony conductor. The perfect blend of words and art makes this a must-read Riffing on the theme of the sense of sound, LISTEN is an inspiring and uplifting biography of a girl who wouldn’t let becoming deaf defeat her dream of becoming a musician. With lyrical language as rhythmic as music, author Shannon Stocker takes us into the heart and soul of Evelyn Glennie and her struggles and ultimate triumph. Illustrator Devon Holzwarth infuses the story with a musicality by wielding strokes like a symphony conductor. The perfect blend of words and art makes this a must-read story that is sure to empower.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Monica Mancillas

    Honestly, if I could give this picture book 10 stars, I would. The illustrations are absolutely stunning, and the prose - heart stopping. Shannon Stocker does an absolutely amazing job of telling this one of a kind story of a woman who refused to let disability - or the world's misconceptions about her ability - stop her from living the life of her dreams. What an inspiring story and all-around beautiful book! Honestly, if I could give this picture book 10 stars, I would. The illustrations are absolutely stunning, and the prose - heart stopping. Shannon Stocker does an absolutely amazing job of telling this one of a kind story of a woman who refused to let disability - or the world's misconceptions about her ability - stop her from living the life of her dreams. What an inspiring story and all-around beautiful book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Blue

    A truly remarkable book about a remarkable person. It starts out slow and gentle and then quickly the pages are full of energy as Evelyn embraces music/percussion and learning how to listen with her body, when her ear function declines. The most remarkable aspect is how Evelyn fought against the discrimination she faced and won! The musical words and brilliant, colourful illustrations take you fully on Evelyn's life journey. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. A truly remarkable book about a remarkable person. It starts out slow and gentle and then quickly the pages are full of energy as Evelyn embraces music/percussion and learning how to listen with her body, when her ear function declines. The most remarkable aspect is how Evelyn fought against the discrimination she faced and won! The musical words and brilliant, colourful illustrations take you fully on Evelyn's life journey. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Leventhal

    From the very first line, we are brought into Evelyn Glennie's world. How can a girl who loved playing music continue even after she loses her hearing? By courage, persistence, and listening. Stocker's words and Holzwarth's illustrations beautifully mesh to tell the story of Glennie and how she changed percussion and taught the world that listening is not always through one's ears. This beautifully written inspirational story is one that everyone should know. I highly recommend it. From the very first line, we are brought into Evelyn Glennie's world. How can a girl who loved playing music continue even after she loses her hearing? By courage, persistence, and listening. Stocker's words and Holzwarth's illustrations beautifully mesh to tell the story of Glennie and how she changed percussion and taught the world that listening is not always through one's ears. This beautifully written inspirational story is one that everyone should know. I highly recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne Wynter

    This book tells the extraordinary life story of Evelyn Glennie, who I wasn't familiar with until now. Evelyn loved music, but she lost her hearing at a young age. She wanted to continue pursuing music, but she faced repeated obstacles from people who didn't believe in her. This book is a beautiful account of how Evelyn overcame those obstacles, defied expectations and excelled at her craft. An inspiring book for readers of all ages! This book tells the extraordinary life story of Evelyn Glennie, who I wasn't familiar with until now. Evelyn loved music, but she lost her hearing at a young age. She wanted to continue pursuing music, but she faced repeated obstacles from people who didn't believe in her. This book is a beautiful account of how Evelyn overcame those obstacles, defied expectations and excelled at her craft. An inspiring book for readers of all ages!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    Reviewing ARC The illustrations in this book are just gorgeous. The story follows world-famous Scottish percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, from childhood to the deterioration of her hearing up to the current times. Evelyn Glennie is still playing music whole body and soul by the way! I loved the illustrations very much. The rich color and textures and compositions were really inspiring and worked exceedingly well with the text.

  19. 5 out of 5

    DLIU

    This is a captivating picture book about the human spirit and the pursuit of dreams. Evelyn's amazing story connects readers with the importance of listening, not only with our ears but also with our hearts and bodies. Beautiful text and gorgeous illustrations page after page. The author's own story makes this book even more powerful. A must read! This is a captivating picture book about the human spirit and the pursuit of dreams. Evelyn's amazing story connects readers with the importance of listening, not only with our ears but also with our hearts and bodies. Beautiful text and gorgeous illustrations page after page. The author's own story makes this book even more powerful. A must read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joana Pastro

    This book is breathtakingly gorgeous! From the lyrical text to the beautiful illustrations. Shannon Stocker tells the inspiring story of the amazing Evelyn Gleenie, a woman who lost her hearing as a girl, and her journey to become a successful percussionist. A book full of heart about fighting for your dreams, persistance and overcoming obstacles! A must read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Gholz

    This book is gorgeous from the words to the illustrations. The text is rich, engaging and layered with emotion. The art is stunning and completely sweeps the reader away. Evelyn Glennie’s story is incredibly inspiring for all readers—young and old. I highly recommend this book for libraries, classrooms, and home collections alike.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    Thank you to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book. I loved this picture book. As a music teacher, I can't wait to share this with my students. It's a great example of a person who perfectly demonstrates that you can play any instrument you want, if you're willing to put in the effort. Thank you to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book. I loved this picture book. As a music teacher, I can't wait to share this with my students. It's a great example of a person who perfectly demonstrates that you can play any instrument you want, if you're willing to put in the effort.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michal Babay

    This gorgeously written and illustrated book is an absolute must for classrooms and home libraries! So inspiring and the fact that it's a true story makes it even better. Get this one - you'll love it! This gorgeously written and illustrated book is an absolute must for classrooms and home libraries! So inspiring and the fact that it's a true story makes it even better. Get this one - you'll love it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Zimmermann

    Filled with lyrical text and illustrations full of life, LISTEN follows the life of Evelyn Glennie who, after losing her hearing, found a new way to listen and perform the music she loved. A beautifully told story of a woman who shows us you can succeed even when others say you can’t.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jj

    An excellent picture book biography of someone I've never heard of who is amazing. I think kids will really enjoy the true life story and illustrations. This would be great for use in a storytime about music or in a classroom setting! Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the review copy. An excellent picture book biography of someone I've never heard of who is amazing. I think kids will really enjoy the true life story and illustrations. This would be great for use in a storytime about music or in a classroom setting! Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the review copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Gaum

    I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Fouts

    A must-read for children, adults, educators, etc. who love or teach music (especially percussion).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Kerstein

    This is an absolutely magnificent book in every way. I love this story of perseverance, hope, and strength.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Stocker

    Lyrical text and exquisite illustrations from start to finish. Every librarian needs this book on their shelves. Wow!

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