Goodbye Tchaikovsky

Author: Michael Thal
Publisher: Royal Fireworks Press
Genre: Middle Grade
ISBN: 978-0-88092-469-6
Price:  $9.99

Author’s website
Buy it from publisher

David Rothman is on top of the world. After bringing down the house as soloist in the Youth Orchestra, he and the group are invited to play for the Queen of England. But just days after his triumphant moment, he suddenly finds himself unable to hear a single note.

Deafness has struck the Rothmans in the past, and now David has the family curse. Playing the violin is as meaningless to him as holding a stick of wood, since he can’t hear the music. Putting it down for good, he embarks on a journey to understand and deal with his new course of life.

Over the next six years, David enrolls in a school for the deaf, switching to mainstream high school once he is proficient enough in communication. He makes new friends and learns to adjust, hoping he will eventually find a career path to follow. And when he graduates from high school, he heads off to a mainstream college, finally knowing exactly what he is called to do.

Finding yourself deaf, literally overnight, is a scary thing, and David’s response to his disability is understandable. It takes courage to accept what he can’t change, and he tries to make the best of a bad situation. Goodbye Tchaikovsky is a touching portrayal of a boy who just wants to fit in, but finds himself pulled between the hearing and the deaf world. Ultimately, what he really needs to find is himself.

Reviewer: Alice Berger