#126 – Hildy by Millie Richmond

A to Z Challenge Day 18: R
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4.5

Today, the A and Z letter of the day is R, and it brings you two things: The author, whose last name is Richmond (Millie), and the word Relief. By the end of the review, relief will become apparent, and not because what I have written is finally over, though that could be true. Ms. Richmond’s book, titled Hildy, is today’s reviewed book.

Nine-year-old Hildy’s story begins with her secret that she is losing her hearing.She tells nobody, not even her “most best friend.” But the longer she keeps this secret, the more problems she creates. From simple teasing it escalates to getting lost on a school field trip, losing her little sister, to finding herself alone during a fire drill at school. Finally, Hildy has no choice but to admit to her handicap.

Once she seeks help, her sense of humor returns and her strength of character grows. Hildy is ready to take on even the class bully.

Hildy Williams has a secret that she will not even tell her most best friend in the whole world. Hildy has been having trouble hearing things correctly. Instead of taking her note for the class trip to the zoo, she grabs her coat, wondering why her mother wanted her remember it on a warm day, but needing to run for the bus Hildy does not question her mother. Not until after the permission slips are handed in that Hildy realizes it was her note mom didn’t want her to forget, not her coat.

Things get worse when Hildy cannot answer a teacher’s question, after not hearing her due to all the noises and voices in the outdoor gym class. Buster, the class bully, harps, Don’t you know anything, Hildy? Boy, are you ever dumb . . . dumb, dumb, dumb every chance he gets. The consequences for keeping her secret only allow problems to escalate, until Hildy gets lost when the school evacuates from a fire. Hildy confesses to her teacher and is sent to the school nurse for a hearing test. Hildy then sees an audiologist, who again tests Hildy and fits her for hearing aids by taking an impression of the inside of her ear. A few days later, she is wearing her new Super Sensitive Signalers (SSS), and takes on Buster.

Hildy is a story that could have been my story. I went through exactly what Hildy went through. Okay, not exactly, instead of elementary school, it was college, and there was no Buster around to call me dumb. Yet, it was kept a secret for some time until a professor, hard-of-hearing herself, pulled me aside and started asking questions. No more secret meant seeing an audiologist for testing and then being fitted for hearing aids. Since then, my computerized wonders have broken and are too expensive to replace, so when you comment, please do so loudly.

Hildy’s biggest trouble is with sounds that rhyme or sound similar, such as:

baboon and balloon, 
. . . .note and coat, 
. . . . . . . .gate and crate, 
. . . . . . . . . . . .eggs and legs, 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . boys and noise. 
.

Hildy would also have problems with ph sound and s and p words, depending on the range the sound falls into. The author uses rhyming words, but those are not the only problem sounds. The first letter or two of a word can be just as confusing . The sound of the letter “F” easily is confused with the sound of “Ph.” Another example is “H” as in, for example, “house” and “horse” can become mix up because of the sound of the first two letters. The words do not necessarily need to rhyme to be heard incorrectly, it is the sound of letters, and the pitch, tone, intensity, and all the other stuff too in-depth to go into that scramble words for the hearing impaired. The doctor in the book tells Hildy, . . . different sounds fall into different ranges. It’s a little complicated to explain, and he is correct, so I will not touch the subject.

Hildy is a book that children should be required to read, at home with their parents. This not only details the struggles of someone, especially a child, who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, it details the somewhat similar story of a child with a handicap. The child, or adult, wants to hide the problem or themselves from everyone, they fear being teased or rejected if anyone found out, and then find their world did not implode when their struggles became common knowledge. I would have liked to have seen a list of references/resources and a glossary.

This is also a good book for bullies and potential bullies to read, with parents. I think I said this on another review recently, but it is still true. Knowledge is power. Elementary teachers can find great lessons in Hildy. Kindness, bullies, acceptance, reaching out, and many more that young children can grasp with the help of stories like Hildy.

To comment scroll back to the beginning of the review. “Comment” is on the left, under the date.

Hildy

Author: Millie Richmond
Publisher: Xlibris, Corp.
Release Date: August 31,2010
ISBN:  978-1-4535-6103-4
Number of Pages: 52
Ages: 6 – 9 +

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A to Z Challenge Day 18: R

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2 thoughts on “#126 – Hildy by Millie Richmond

  1. It’s good that kids are made aware early on of those of us with different challenges in life. You did a fine job of reviewing this book.

    Lee
    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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