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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brighton author pens "Sign Language" about family dynamics

Barnes & Noble at Green Oak Village Place will host a signing event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, for Brighton resident Amy Ackley's debut young adult novel, Sign Language, released by Viking Juvenile (Penguin USA).
Sign Language, winner of the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction, is drawn from the loss of Ackley's father to kidney cancer when she was a young teenager. Sign Language explores the changing family dynamics that occur when a family member is terminally ill, and how each person deals with loss in his or her own way. The novel follows the main character, a young teenaged girl, through the stages of grief, a path that runs through three years of her life and leads her to understand the unbreakable bonds of family.
Sign Language has received early praise from literary critics, including a highlighted review by VOYA (Voice for Youth Advocates), the library magazine serving those who serve young adults: "This is an amazing debut novel … it is both moving and realistic, a result of well-crafted family relationships."
From Booklist: "Ackley ably balances Abby's everyday teen dilemmas with the impossible heartache of a parent's illness and death, and the hopeful ending concludes a tale that is somber but never depressing.
"Bridging a nice gap between Lurlene McDaniel and Sarah Dessen novels, this should appeal to fans of both."
Bestselling author Sarah Dessen says, "Ackley brings Abby's voice to life, capturing all the fear, hope and confusion involved in trying to cope with the most grown-up of issues while still only a teen.
"You can't help but want Abby to finally discover her own kind of peace, and readers will be pulling for her throughout her journey."
Bestselling author Nancy Werlin wrote, "[Sign Language] tells its story beautifully and movingly, and it earns its hopeful ending. Ackley is without question a talented writer."
Amy Ackley lives in Brighton with her husband and three daughters, and is hard at work on her next novel.
For more information about Sign Language or to contact author Amy Ackley, please visit


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