Can You Feel the Noise?

Can You Feel the Noise?

By Author / Illustrator

Stewart Foster


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Simon & Schuster Ltd




Paperback / softback




A profound story about inner strength and perseverance in the face of a life-changing event, from the award-winning author of The Bubble Boy. Perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio's Wonder and Lisa Thompson's The Goldfish Boy.  'A wonderful book about overcoming a life-changing event and the remarkable power of music.' - Lisa Thompson, author of The Goldfish Boy

Life is going well for Sophie. She's getting by at school, has some pretty awesome friends, and their band have made it through to the semifinals of the Battle of the Bands competition.  But when Sophie wakes up completely deaf one morning, the life she once knew seems like a distant memory. With lessons replaced by endless hospital appointments, and conversations now an exercise in lip-reading, Sophie grows quieter and quieter. Until she discovers the vibrations of sound through an old set of drums and wonders whether life onstage is actually still within reach.  

Drawing on the author's own hearing impairment, Can You Feel the Noise? is a deeply personal and moving story that will stay with you long after reading.  'Powerful, moving and uplifting. This beautifully-told story highlights the gift of perseverance.' - Polly Ho-Yen, author of Boy in the Tower.



Can You Feel the Noise? is a moving, emotional and thought provoking story of young Sophie whose music loving life is turned upside down when her entire world turns silent after she loses all her hearing completely overnight. I think this is my favourite Stewart Foster book yet - so powerfully and sensitively written. Foster is so skilled at building up the details of the scenarios and challenges Sophie faces on a daily basis.

We learn that Sophie is driven and passionate about playing her guitar, working on music with her friends and that she is aiming high and has dreams. The reader is drawn in to feeling a strong empathy with her and feel how frustrating and exhausting her problems with her developing hearing issues are becoming and then with the simplest yet most effective sentences, the author takes the tension and heart break up so skillfully: "The light switch in the hall didn't click. The front door didn't bang. The car doors didn't slam." Connecting Sophie with another character who is deaf creates an inspiring, warm and encouraging support for her to navigate her new experiences and feel less alone.

Stewart Foster is sensitive and realistic with his depictions of both characters - although both are deaf and they share many insights and understandings, their experiences are also very individual and unique and I feel that this is so important - although this is a story about a main character becoming deaf , this is a story exploring the vulnerability, resilience and strengths of all of the characters portrayed. Sophie's experiences affect and alter her relationships with family and friends and the journey she takes to regain her confidence and actually create a new path for herself involves all the highs and lows of emotion that all the characters experience.

This is a fantastic book and the notes by Stewart Foster at the end really let the reader have an insight into just how important this book must be for him. I think this personal element really shows in how much Sophie herself was a wonderfully written, relatable and very real character and her experiences so intricately and compelling shared with us. I can't wait to add this to the bookshelves in school in September.

304 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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