Goodbye Tchaikovsky is excellent on many levels.
First, obviously, it is an introduction to what it is like to be deaf in a hearing world, presented so the young reader identifies with David’s experiences on an emotional level.
Second, it is a primer on empathy. "What if that happened to me?" Michael's choice of hero is perfect. The underlying message is, "What if I lost the ability to do the activity that gives me meaning in life, joy and purpose?" A teenager with a passion for basketball might imagine what it would be like after breaking his neck, another who lives for computer games may think of blindness or a paralyzed hand...
Third, Michael deals with the issue of stigma and discrimination, showing that, whether you are Christian or Jewish, ethnically Japanese or Caucasian, deaf or hearing, you deserve respect, compassion, decency, and love.