Sensing the Rhythm:
Finding My Voice in a World Without Sound
America's Got Talent finalist tells her inspiring life story.
Authors: Mandy Harvey and Mark Atteberry
Reader Appeal: Ages 12 and up
Mandy Harvey had her life plan laid out before her. College, music major, music teacher. A noble plan, she didn’t want to rule the world or become a big star she only wanted what it seemed God wanted for her. Then she hit a roadblock. At the beginning of her freshman at Colorado State University she to have difficulty hearing her professors, by the end of the school year she was profoundly deaf.
Mandy writes, “Girl music major goes deaf is a tragedy. Girl music major goes deaf and then starts to sing again is a story.” And this is her story. How she struggled with depression after learning her fate, how her father helped her relearn how to “hear” music, even the difficult parts of how she was treated by some in the deaf community. Mandy opens her life up for the reader to see the good, the bad and the ugly.
She is also a voice for the disabled, those with visible disabilities and those with invisible disabilities: depression, PTSD, chronic pain and many others. She gives advice on how to deal with people with invisible disabilities but really, it’s advice that we should all take when dealing with people, any and all people. First impressions are usually wrong, you don’t know what someone is dealing with, we are all fighting a battle. I took a more direct approach with my boys as they were growing up “Be nice or else.” Mandy has a gentler approach.
Each chapter ends with questions to ask yourself. I’ll admit I found this hokey at first but as I read on I found myself answering them and thinking a little harder. A little introspection never hurt anyone.
Mandy’s story is inspiring to anyone who has ever faced adversity. Her story is not done yet, she is motivational speaker, an award-winning singer and songwriter. She is also an ambassador for No Barriers USA, a nonprofit organization in Fort Collins, Colorado that organizes life-changing experiences for youth, veterans, and people with disabilities.”
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:
• Mandy Harvey’s dream of becoming a music teacher “died” when she lost her hearing. What dream of yours died? How did you move on? What one thing would you tell someone whose dream dies?
• Mandy talks about fears she has learned to control. What fears irrational or not to you need to gain control of?
• Do you have a story that could inspire someone? Share it!
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