The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian Author Interview: Esty Schachter

Thrilled to feature Esty Schachter on the blog! I recently featured her beautiful book Waiting for a Sign. Really appreciated Esty’s characters, storyline, and voice. She created a lovely story that many children will enjoy. Thought it would be interesting to find out more about Esty and her experience self publishing two books.

What was your favorite childhood book memory?

My favorite childhood book memory involves a sleepover with my cousin, in our twenties, where we talked about our favorite characters and moments from Sydney Taylor’s All Of A Kind Family series. Those books were so important to us! I wrote about the experience here:

*That was one of my favorite books as a child!

Have you read any children’s literature books recently?

I recently read and loved Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, and Rebecca Stead’s Liar and Spy. Three seventh graders I know have challenged me to read the entire Harry Potter series by the end of this school year and I’m enjoying those as well!

Are you in a writers group? If so, has it helped you?

I have friends with whom I share my writing, and it helps a great deal to receive feedback, supportive criticism and encouragement.

EstyTell us about yourself:

I’m a clinical social worker, and live in Ithaca, New York with my husband, Jon, and two sons, Elie and Ari. My first book, Anya’s Echoes, combined the story of how my aunt was saved by strangers during the Holocaust with a present-day bullying situation. The observations in Waiting for a Sign came from years of connection to the Deaf community, as well as my wish to remember my wonderful friend.

Do you have a key writing tips for kids? Or adults?

I think it’s very helpful to develop some kind of writing habit, even if it’s just a short time on a regular basis. A friend and I meet regularly to sit and work on our own projects. Having that scheduled time helps to make sure it actually happens, and it’s very nice to have the company while we work.

What’s your favorite type of pizza?
I would have to say that a plain, New York style slice is my favorite!

The best advice I’ve received for my profession was….
that I shouldn’t give up. I self-published Waiting for a Sign and  Anyas Echoes. It is very meaningful to me to have people read a book I’ve written, as well as to receive the feedback that it has touched them in some way. I wrote both books because I felt I had ‘something to say,’ a point of view to share. When publishing them traditionally became difficult, I found a different way, and it has proved to be very satisfying.


Thoughts on Waiting for a Sign from Styling Librarian:

Waiting for a Sign by Esty Schachter – Realistic Fiction – 4th grade and up – This is a poignant, beautiful novel that powerfully addresses the importance of communication, in whatever form you use. Additionally, the tough subject of loss is addressed in a different way, through the eyes of two siblings and how they were able to help one another. There is an overall topic on the value of American Sign Language, ASL, for a community. This author really did a beautiful job of showing how family dynamics are impacted by a person who needs communication specifically through ASL and also the value of a school that has students who all are learning with the same language. I loved the book by Ginny Rorby called Hurt Go Happy and also loved Marlee Matlin’s book Deaf Child Crossing but I found this book, Waiting for a Sign, taught me more, through natural conversations, about the value of ASL than any other book and also helped me understand Deaf culture a little bit too. I also thought it celebrated the power of community and communication. I loved the civil disobedience that occurs in the book and also the outcomes of the actions taken. It was realistic and completely acceptable. This book broke my heart and made me cry a little bit but I found that a bit cathartic and appreciated every moment of my reading experience with it. Quite recommended for children who want to understand about others. Also recommended for children who might have some anger issues that could benefit from reading how other children resolved theirs. Additionally recommended for anyone who wants to gain a little understanding and empathy towards other humans, not just those who are deaf.

My favorite “aha” lines in the book were: “American Sign Language and English. One language at a time, not two. English and ASL were completely different, I knew that. They had two different grammars, two whole different ways of communicating. By trying to use them at the same time, Ian understood me less, not more.”

Note- this was a book I reviewed after receiving it from the author, so happy I said yes!

Goodreads Summary:Shelly always adored her older brother, who seemed so much more confident and self-assured than she could ever hope to be.
But now that Ian attends the Hawthorne School for the Deaf, a residential school that gives him the opportunity to immerse himself in the Deaf community, Shelly feels abandoned and slighted in favor of Ian’s new friends. The two siblings have grown apart, with unspoken—and unsigned—resentment growing between them.
When Ian returns home with news that the state plans to close Hawthorne, Shelly isn’t sure she wants him back. The two siblings confront their feelings in an intense argument about signing, speaking, and communication. Doing so might bridge the gulf that separates them—or drive them further apart.
A thoughtful, revealing tale of family dynamics, Waiting for a Sign celebrates the beauty and power of Deaf culture, offering readers an opportunity for insight and understanding.”

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

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