Teens and young people who read books with characters who’re deaf or hard-of-hearing can affirm their own identity to themselves while learning new skills for everyday challenges and the value of digital technologies.
Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, has the biggest range of titles on deafness and hearing that we’ve ever seen in one extensive floor-area – but these titles should be available at a library, local bookstore or on Amazon.
- Read My Lips (Teri Brown, 2008). Skater chick Serena changes school and mixes with the uber popular crowd when they find her talent for reading lips.
- An Equal Music (Vikram Seth, 2000). Love story about two concert musicians in modern England. Julia has lost her hearing and is still adapting.
- Talk, Talk (T.C. Boyle, 2007). Thriller about a couple chasing an identity thief across the US, with the challenges of deaf-hearing communication.
- He Is Not Me (Stuart McNaughton, 2012, UK). Mainstream-educated as a child, Stuart describes his adult journey toward bilateral cochlear implants.
- If A Tree Falls – A Family’s Quest To Hear And Be Heard (Jennifer Rosner, 2010). Raising two daughters with implants, and researching deaf ancestors.
- Hear Again: Back To Life With A Cochlear Implant (Arlene Romoff, 2002). Romoff, sceptical of being able to hear again, quickly learned otherwise.
- Listening Closely: A Journey To Bilateral Hearing (Arlene Romoff, 2011). A failed cochlear implant that leads to insurance cover and bilateral surgery.
- Mary S Corbishley – Mill Hall Oral School For The Deaf (Ian Stewart, 2009). Biographical history of an oral-deaf school that ran for fifty years in the UK.
- What’s That Pig Outdoors? (Henry Kisor, 1991). Kisor – also mainstream-educated – talks about speech therapy, marriage and his life as a journalist.
Deafness And Family:
- Feathers (Jaqueline Woodson, 2010). Frannie’s class tell a new student he needs to go to the white side of the highway… but the boy says he isn’t white. When her classmates bully him by using mock sign language, the boy replies to say ”No, I’m not deaf”.
- Miss Spitfire – Reaching Helen Keller (Sarah Miller, 2010). Readers see into Sullivan’s journals and learn of Annie’s abusive father, her relationship with her “invalid” brother, and her experiences teaching Helen.
- Deafening (Frances Itani, 2004). Aged five, Grania is profoundly deaf after scarlet fever, and suddenly sealed off from a world just opening up for her.
- Hurt Go Happy (Ginny Rorby, 2007). Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her, but often fails. Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and secretly learns sign language.
- Of Sound Mind (Jean Ferris, 2009). Theo, caretaker and interpreter for his all-deaf family, has a father with health problems and a high-strung mother. Theo’s new crush adores her deaf father and helps Theo manage his unique family situation without blaming “everything” on deafness.
- Finding Abby (Virginia Scott, 2001). Abby is in a coma after a tragic accident. Within pages Abby dies and readers, through her sister Paige attempt to understand the last days of Abby’s life before her death.
(compiled by Sarah Walshe)
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- School Awareness Poem: ‘I am deaf, and it’s okay’
- Delivering On-The-Spot Deaf Awareness Training
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