Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
A companion to the beloved classic From Anna!
Just as Anna is about to enter a new school, she hears news on Papa's radio - Canada is at war with Germany. What will that mean for the Soldens, who immigrated from Germany just a few years ago?
She soon finds out. Customers stop shopping at Papa's store, a teacher in her school bullies any students with German surnames, and Rudi is threatening to enlist, even though he is torn about fighting against the people of his homeland. He too hates Hitler, but wants to find a way to fight that would not pit him against boys he grew up with.
Being partially blind is hard enough for Anna, but starting a new school, and fearing for Rudi's safety, challenge her. There has never been a more frightening time for her family, especially when they learn that Anna's beloved Aunt Tania has been arrested by the Nazis, and when Rudi comes home from the Navy blinded. Nobody can seem to pull him out of his sadness . . . until Anna herself finds a way to reach through to him.
First published in 1977, Listen for the Singing won the Canada Council Award for Children's Literature (the forerunner of the Governor General's Award).
About the author
Jean Little was born in Taiwan in 1932. Her parents were both doctors. Jean grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. She was born with a severe eye problem and is severely visually impaired. A special "talking" computer assists her with her writing. She has a retired seeing-eye dog named Ritz and a new one named Pippa, with whom she travels. The author focuses on her experiences from the time she was a child through young adulthood in her autobiography, Little by Little, and continues her story in Stars Come Out Within. The books, which will appeal to children 10 and older, are both humorous and poignant as Jean describes living with a disability and the ridicule she sometimes experienced as a result, as well as her love for the world of reading and books. Jean's books include From Anna, Listen for the Singing, Stand In The Wind, Mama's Going To Buy You a Mockingbird, Hey World, Here I Am!, Look through My Window, Emma's Yucky Brother, The Belonging Place, and Mine For Keeps. Listen for the Singing was the Canada Council Children's Literature Award winner in 1977. Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird was the CLA Book of the Year in 1985.
Jean Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little, Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995. It tells the story of Sally Copeland, a 10 year old with cerebral palsy, and her adjustment to being home after spending several years in a special school. You'll find that several of the themes in this book appear in a number of the author's other books: dealing with a handicap and the responses of others, fitting in, and adjusting to new situations and surroundings.