Thanks to librarian Ann G. from New York for sharing this book with me. Ann explains that while the Deaf Character isn't the main character, she plays a pivotal role in the story. I just added bought this book from Amazon and look forward to reading it.
A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (2006)
Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. It seems the sisters need Maud to help stage elaborate séances for bereaved, wealthy patrons. As Maud is drawn deeper into the deception, playing her role as a "secret child," she is torn between her need to please and her growing conscience -- until a shocking betrayal makes clear just how heartless her so-called guardians are. Filled with tantalizing details of turn-of-the-century spiritualism and page-turning suspense, this lively historical novel features a winning heroine whom readers will not soon forget.
A feisty orphan is taken in by a band of phony spiritualists in this intriguing, engaging novel.
Laura Amy Schlitz, the author of the Newbery Medal winner, GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES!: VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE, has spent most of her life working as a librarian and professional storyteller. She has also written plays for young people that have been performed in professional theaters all over the country. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Deaf Character, Muffet, is a secondary character who communicates with "signs".
Thanks again Ann!