Tune It Out
Tune It Out

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Annotation: Twelve-year-old Lou Montgomery's life has been centered on her mother's terrifying plan to make her a singing star, but a crisis reveals Lou's sensory processing disorder and people determined to help her address it.
Catalog Number: #216437
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 275 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-534-45700-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8029-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-534-45700-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8029-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019044635
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old girl navigates sensory processing disorder and complicated emotions when she’s removed from her mother’s care.Lou Montgomery hasn’t attended school in over a year. Instead, she and her mother scratch out a nomadic living, performing in casinos and diners and sleeping in their worn-out truck as her ambitious mother scouts the country for Lou’s “next big gig.” Lou loves singing; her voice “makes me feel stronger than I am,” she tells readers. But she hates performing; loud sounds hurt “like knives” and leave her screaming, and light touch makes her flinch. When her mother’s investigated for neglect and Lou’s sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle, Lou’s new world—regular meals, a fancy private school, and a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder—overwhelms her even more. Her voice alternately wry, naïve, and wise beyond her years, Lou confronts sensory overload, self-consciousness, and her simultaneous love for and anger toward her mother in poetic, poignant prose. The way she contrasts poverty and privilege is thought-provoking; her dread of being labeled a “special-needs kid” is realistic. Though Lou’s friendship with quirky theater classmate Well sometimes feels too good to be true (would that all kids were so endearingly and instantly accepting of neurodivergence), Sumner realistically avoids fairy-tale endings while still closing on a hopeful note. Most characters, including Lou, default to White; Well’s mother is Japanese American.A vivid, sensitive exploration of invisible disability, family bonds, and the complex reality of happily-ever-after. (Fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 5 Up Loud sounds, crowds and people touching or brushing up against her are painful for 12-year-old Louise Montgomery. Her mom thinks she has the voice of an angel and is destined to make it as a singer; she has spent years forcing Louise to perform in noisy coffee shops and karaoke events while the two live together in their truck. After an incident wherein Lou crashes their truck, the young girl is moved across the country and placed in the custody of her aunt and uncle who she doesn't know. In this new setting, Lou deals with fitting in at a fancy private school, making friends, and learning to trust the adults in her life. She juggles all of this while managing what she learns, with the help of the school counselor, is a sensory processing disorder (SPD). Lou's relationships with the adults in her life, including her mom, aunt, and uncle, evolve over the course of the narrative as she adjusts to her new normal. Sumner doesn't shy away from tough topics including homelessness, poverty, foster care, and the ups and downs of having a sensory processing disorder. VERDICT Readers will fall in love with Lou Montgomery in this uplifting story, as she learns the power of music and the importance of family and friends. Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga P.L. Syst., OH
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old girl navigates sensory processing disorder and complicated emotions when she’s removed from her mother’s care.Lou Montgomery hasn’t attended school in over a year. Instead, she and her mother scratch out a nomadic living, performing in casinos and diners and sleeping in their worn-out truck as her ambitious mother scouts the country for Lou’s “next big gig.” Lou loves singing; her voice “makes me feel stronger than I am,” she tells readers. But she hates performing; loud sounds hurt “like knives” and leave her screaming, and light touch makes her flinch. When her mother’s investigated for neglect and Lou’s sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle, Lou’s new world—regular meals, a fancy private school, and a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder—overwhelms her even more. Her voice alternately wry, naïve, and wise beyond her years, Lou confronts sensory overload, self-consciousness, and her simultaneous love for and anger toward her mother in poetic, poignant prose. The way she contrasts poverty and privilege is thought-provoking; her dread of being labeled a “special-needs kid” is realistic. Though Lou’s friendship with quirky theater classmate Well sometimes feels too good to be true (would that all kids were so endearingly and instantly accepting of neurodivergence), Sumner realistically avoids fairy-tale endings while still closing on a hopeful note. Most characters, including Lou, default to White; Well’s mother is Japanese American.A vivid, sensitive exploration of invisible disability, family bonds, and the complex reality of happily-ever-after. (Fiction. 8-12)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (5/1/20)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (5/1/20)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 5-9
Lexile: 670L

From the author of the acclaimed Roll with It comes a moving novel about a girl with a sensory processing disorder who has to find her own voice after her whole world turns upside down.

Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She’s never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she’s terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there’s something wrong with her.

When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou—and maybe her mom, too.


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