This sounds like a wonderful book for youth! Be sure to read the Guest Post, too!
The French Impressionist Rebecca Bischoff
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rosemary is fifteen and gloriously free, on her own for the very first time. Part of an exchange program for aspiring artists, she arrives in sunny southern France with a single goal: she doesn’t plan to leave, ever. She wants a new life, a new family, and a new identity. But her situation, crafted from lies big and small, is precarious.
Desperate to escape haunting images from her past and a stage one helicopter parent, Rosemary struggles to hide her lack of artistic talent and a communication disorder that has tormented her all her life. She believes her dream of a new start will come true, until she unwittingly finds herself enveloped in a decades-old mystery that threatens to ruin her only chance for success. Determined to stay, Rosemary must choose whether or not she’ll tell the biggest lie of all, even if it means destroying the life of someone she cares about.
Dramatic, heartwarming, and full of teenage angst, The French Impressionist perfectly captures the struggle of those who feel they have no voice, and also shows the courage it takes to speak up and show the world who we really are.
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1.) As a speech-language pathologist, what are your responsibilities? How has this impacted your or another’s life?
As a speech-language pathologist, (SLP for short), I work in schools with kids from ages 3 to 18. Not long ago, one of my students came into my room with a big smile and said, “Guess what, Mrs. B.? The teacher asked a question and it was about something we practiced in “speech,” so I answered it. And know what? I got it right!”
I’m not the kind of person who gets overly emotional at work, but I admit I teared up a little. Why? Because this was a big deal! This student is one of the many I work with who comes to “speech,” or speech and language therapy. She has a communication disorder. In case you’re wondering what that is, the short and sweet definition is this: if you cannot speak clearly enough to get your message across to someone else and have no other way to communicate that message, or if you cannot understand the messages others are sending you, you might have a communication disorder.
Kids with communication disorders might not be able to speak very clearly. Or, they might speak clearly but use vague words or have a hard time getting their point across. They might not pick up on social cues or be able to have a conversation. They might struggle in class and not be able to do the work that other kids do.
So, as an SLP who works in schools, I do my best to help my students communicate better. I help kids who can’t say all of their speech sounds correctly so that they can speak more clearly and be understood. I teach kids who don’t get social cues how to have a simple conversation with someone else. I help kids who stutter. I work to help kids who communicate with apps on tablets or computers, or kids who have a hard time understanding everything their teachers are saying. I do my best to help them speak, listen, understand, and write better so they can do well in school and live life more fully.
So, the day that my student came in with a big smile, thrilled that she was able to answer a question in class, was a red letter day for me. It meant that I was doing something right. Whatever I did made a difference for a student who far too often remained silent in class, afraid to speak up because she didn’t understand or was afraid she’d be wrong.
As an SLP, I try to help kids find their voices so they can tell the world who they are. It’s what I do, and I love it.
Rebecca Bischoff currently resides in Idaho with her family and works as a speech-language pathologist. She loves helping others, especially kids and teenagers, discover their own unique voices and learn to share who they are with the world. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, spend time with her kids, and make awkward attempts to learn foreign languages. She is drawn to all things both French and Italian, used bookstores, and anything made out of chocolate.