Books make great holiday gifts for kids, and numerous reports link leisure reading to increased vocabulary, school success, and heightened empathy. But when you’re shopping for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, what are the best choices?
Kids like reading about characters whom they resemble, and in their diversity statement, the Children’s Book Council states, “All children deserve to see themselves in story.” So with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to books which feature deaf or hard-of-hearing characters in primary roles. And since everyone loves a good story, consider these for the hearing children on your list as well!
El Deafo, by Cece Bell. This graphic memoir tells the story of a profoundly deaf child whose new hearing aid makes her feel like a superhero, hence the book’s title. Kirkus Review calls this “a humorous and touching graphic memoir about finding friendship and growing up deaf.” Ages 8 and up.
Leading Ladies, by Marlee Matlin and Doog Cooney. This book, number three in the “Deaf Child Crossing” series, tells the story of Megan Merrill, a deaf fourth-grader who is auditioning for the part of Dorothy in a musical version of The Wizard of Oz. Will she get the part, or will it go to her best friend, Julie? Kirkus Review says, “This rare glimpse into the life of a child growing up deaf is an invaluable contribution to juvenile fiction.” Ages 8-10.
Silence in the Wild: A Summer in Maine, by Dale C. Jellison. Jake Graham, a deaf boy of twelve, is adjusting to his first summer at camp when he finds himself alone in the wilderness without benefit of hearing aids. This coming of age story, published in 2014, is not yet reviewed. Ages 11-13.
The Flying Fingers Club Mystery Series, by Jean F. Andrews. Matt, who is deaf, teaches his friend Donald to sign, and together they form the “Flying Fingers” club to solve mysteries. Titles include “The Flying Fingers Club,” “Secret in the Dorm Attic,” and “Mystery of the Totems.” Booklist says, “The underlying theme, that two boys can have a close friendship regardless of one having a disability, comes through as Donald learns sign language and paves the way for other classmates to befriend hearing-impaired Matt.” Ages 8-11
To spread additional cheer amongst deaf and hard-of-hearing children, visit the web site of the Described and Captioned Media Program for their holiday list of accessible media. Titles include “The Gift of the Magi,” “Seven Candles for Kwanzaa,” and “In the Month of Kislev.”
CompuScripts Captioning offers effective communication to assist you with compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act by offering closed captioning and subtitling services to public and private venues. CompuScripts Captioning is endorsed by the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is administered by the National Association of the Deaf and funded by the U. S. Department of Education. Achieving DCMP “Approved Captioning Service Vendor” status is a prestigious honor in the captioning industry. Of those who participate in the rigorous evaluation process to acquire Approved Vendor status, only half actually earn the distinction. CompuScripts Captioning also enjoys the distinction of being a YouTube Ready captioning vendor through DCMP.