Jessi's Secret Language is the sixteenth book in the original The Baby-Sitter's Club series. Jessi becomes the steady sitter for the Braddocks. Her secret language is sign language! She must learn sign language due to Matt Braddock being profoundly deaf.
Jessi knows a secret language! She learned it from Matt Braddock, the BSC's newest charge. Matt's been deaf since birth, and he uses sign language to speak. Since Jessi is Matt's baby-sitter, she has to use sign language, too.
Soon all the kids in Stoneybrook want to learn to sign...which keeps the members of the Baby-sitters Club busy. Jessi's the busiest of all: she's working on another super secret, just for Matt.
Will Jessi be able to keep the secret and pull off her special event? Of course she will — she's a member of the Baby-sitters Club!
Jessi babysits for new clients, The Braddocks, who have a 9-year-old daughter, Haley and a 7-year-old son, Matt, who is profoundly deaf. Jessi learns sign language and helps make Haley & Matt feel welcome in the neighborhood by showing the other kids about Matt's "secret language" and how much fun it is.
Jessi is having a hard time in her new ballet class. Being the new girl in class, she is given a hard time by two students, Hilary and Katie Beth. Jessi is is given the lead in the ballet school's production of "Coppelia." Later on, Hilary and Katie Beth become more nicer to Jessi.
Jessi also learns that Katie Beth's sister, Adele is deaf, but she and her family don't communicate sign language with her. After learning that Matt has never been to the theater, Jessi comes up with an idea to invite Matt's class to her opening night performance of "Coppelia." During the play, Haley narrates the story while Mrs. Braddock translates it.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom, about two girls at boarding school who invent a secret language for themselves. I especially loved the title. Later, when I wanted to write this book about American Sign Language, I remembered it and came up with the title Jessi’s Secret Language. Although I don’t know much sign language myself, it has always interested me. And after meeting several hearing-impaired BSC fans, I wanted to include a hearing-impaired character in the series, so I created Matt Braddock.