Gift of the gab ISBN: 9780140387988
Published by Puffin, 2000
Rowena Batts was born with 'some bits missing' from her throat and can't speak. It doesn't stop her from living a full and active life 'down under' with her amazing country and western style dad, a bloke she loves fiercely in spite of his embarrassing ways. Ro signs expertly, writes notes to those who don't understand signing, and in a book full of humour, pathos, and adventure explores the facts that have been withheld from her for the best of reasons - facts about her mum's death and her dad's inadvertant overuse of pesticides in his orchard that probably has caused her muteness. The book is set first in Australia and then in France, where Rowena's mum was killed in a hit and run accident; determined Ro is out to get the person who did it. Often blundering in without first understanding the facts, plucky Ro suffers many unlikely adventures, some funny, some nearly tragic. She makes a super role model, though it is unlikely that other mute children will have quite so many zany adventures! This is the third book about Rowena, the other two being 'Blabber Mouth'(Macmillan 033039777X) and 'Sticky Beak'(Macmillan 0330397788).