Blatant self-promotion--with a little help from some friends

This wonderful video was produced by kids at the Independence Middle School


Dear Ms. Rorby,
My Name is William H.  I'm 12 years old and in 6th grade in San Antonio, TX. I finished reading your book in class and I really really liked it. For extra credit, we needed to choose to write something about the book we just finished. From several different topics,  I chose to create a sequel for Hurt Go Happy. I'm not sure if you will have time to read this, but it would be an honor for me if you do. Unfortunately, I didn't get the assignment in on time, so nobody will read it except my parents. I really wanted my teacher to read it, but I guess I will not have that opportunity. Anyway, I hope you do write a sequel to the book because I enjoyed the story and would like to know more about Joey's future...
Thank you for your time,
William H.
By William.
The title of the sequel to Hurt Go Happy will be called I See You.  I chose the title from the sign phrase that Sukari used to greet Joey. Next is a brief summary of the book.

     Joey Willis, a nineteen-year-old deaf girl, has just suffered through the hardest struggle of her life.  Sukari, a 10 year old chimpanzee entrusted to her after Charlie’s death, finally died after a long illness.  Now a student at a college for the deaf in Washington DC, Joey continues her studies in biology with the hope of becoming a veterinarian.  Her family still lives in Ft. Bragg, California and Luke, her younger brother, and Ray, her stepfather, are doing great.  The biggest influence on her life, her mother Ruth, is losing her health.  She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, most likely from her lifelong habit of smoking.  At every opportunity, Joey visits her family.

     At her college in Washington DC, Joey has three good friends:  Madi, Jennie and Michael.  Madi, who is in her fourth year, is 40% deaf, very independent and quite sassy.  She is good at singing, playing the guitar and standing up for others.  Madi, a beautiful blonde from Chicago, is one of the smartest students in the whole school.  Jennie, a second year, is completely deaf, very quiet and shy.  She’s very good at math, playing the piano and distracting people.  Although Jennie is short and nerdy, she can beat anyone in a general knowledge contest.  Last, but not least, there’s Michael, another second year student like Joey and Jennie.  He is over 50% deaf and his parents are diplomats from South Africa, stationed at the South African Embassy.  Michael’s parents have a rainforest house in Tanzania, close to the home of the largest chimpanzee reserve in Africa.  When Joey finishes college this summer, she wants to go there to visit chimpanzees to try to capture the magic of Sukari.

     Whenever Joey drives past Charlie’s old house, she thinks about Sukari, Charlie and the first time that they met.  It’s funny how she felt awkward around a “talking” chimp who knew more sign language that she did.  She recalls Sukari signing I SEE YOU and RAISIN, but remembers what Sukari signed to Luke that day after he hit his head.:  HURT GO HAPPY.  That phrase really gave her inspiration to carry on when life got tough.  When Joey goes to pick up mushrooms for her mother, she realizes that walking off the path changed her life forever. 

     Back at college, Joey finds out about a university trip to Africa, but seats are limited.  Joey is thrilled, but she’s not sure if she can go because of her mother.  The only way to get selected for the trip is to have very good grades.  Joey works hard to study for tests and makes great strides, but sadly, she’s not chosen.  Michael feels sad for Joey and wants her to go to Africa.  With help from Madi and Jennie, Michael convinces his parents to take Joey to their house in Tanzania.  Happier than ever, Joey goes to Africa with Michael, Madi and Jennie.  They stay there for two months, helping at the chimpanzee reserve. 
     Joey meets and becomes friends with one baby chimp named Chloe that reminds her of Sukari.  Joey tries to teach Chloe sign language, but is failing miserably after two weeks.  One day, Chloe walks up to Joey and signs I SEE YOU J-Y.  Joey bursts out crying because of the memories of Sukari and Charlie.  She gets a great feeling now that she’s taught sign language to a chimpanzee.  Before long, Joey teaches Chloe all Sukari’s signs and now the two communicate through sign language. 

     Shortly thereafter, Joey gets a letter from Ray telling her that Ruth has gone from bad to worse.  Sadly, Joey leaves Michael’s house early and must say goodbye to Chloe.  After arriving in California, she hurries to be with her mom.  At the hospital, she gets a frantic call from Michael.  There’s been a devastating fire at the Reserve and they need Joey to return as soon as possible to help recapture the chimpanzees.  Joey is torn - her mom is dying, but Chloe is lost and suffering. 

   Will Joey Willis stay in California with her mom, Ray and Luke or will she go back to the Reserve to help Michael, Madi and Jennie to capture the chimpanzees and locate Chloe? Will Joey find Chloe and take her back to the States or will Joey find her home among the chimpanzees of Tanzania?  Is Michael the one to help Joey finally forget the nightmare of her youth?  Will Joey succeed in school and make it to become a veterinarian?

   This and much more await the reader of this exciting sequel to Hurt Go Happy the ever suspenseful I See You.  Make sure to get in on your reader today!          

which is full of stories by many of the best writers on the Mendocino Coast

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