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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Hurt Go Happy

Hurt Go Happy

A novel inspired by the true story of a chimpanzee who learned sign language

Ginny Rorby

Tor Teen


Hurt Go Happy is a captivating novel for young readers by beloved author Ginny Rorby. The Schneider Family Book Award-winning novel is inspired by the true story of a chimpanzee raised as a human.

Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis is used to being left out of conversations. Though she's been deaf since the age of six, Joey's mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her and often fails.

Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his baby chimpanzee, Sukari. Her new friends use sign language to communicate, and Joey secretly begins to learn to sign. Spending time with Charlie and Sukari, Joey has never been happier. But as Joey's world blooms with possibilities, Charlie's and Sukari's choices begin to narrow—until Sukari's very survival is in doubt.

Hurt Go Happy is the unforgettable story of one girl’s determination to save the life of a fellow creature—one who has the ability to ask for help.

Hurt Go Happy is the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award. It’s also an International Literacy Association Teachers' Choices selection, a Book Sense Children's Pick, a KLIATT Editor’s Choice: Best of the Year’s Hardcover YA Fiction selection, and a New York Public Library “Books for the Teen Age” selection.

Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Master List, Schneider Family Book Award, KLIATT Editor's Choice Best of the Year, NYPLC Children's Books 100, Book Sense Children's Pick, IRA Teachers' Choices, Florida Sunshine State YR Award ML, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Kansas William Allen White Award




The vibration of someone moving through the house woke Joey. She opened her eyes with a start, her heart racing. The room was pitch black, but it was getting...

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Ginny Rorby

GINNY RORBY was raised in Winter Park, Florida, and lived in Miami during her career as a Pan American flight attendant. Midway through that career, she enrolled in the University of Miami to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology, graduated and changed direction again. She went on to receive an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She now lives on the chilly coast of northern California with her parrot and way too many cats. Ginny Rorby is co-director of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference.

image of Ginny Rorbyo
Jenny Mark Ketter

Tor Teen

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