To end our Deaf History Month, our team at Bookstr wanted a way to commemorate deaf culture and recognize deaf authors, as well as books that touch on experiences with deafness. For this week’s Three to Read, Bookstr presents you with some book recommendations for celebrating Deaf History Month!
by Lou Ann Walker
Synopsis: Author Lou Ann Walker writes this memoir to share her experiences from childhood to adulthood as the only hearing child of deaf parents. She reminisces the fast-paced environment she had to develop in, and how she held the heavy responsibility of speaking for and hearing for her family. From appointments to work, Walker writes an eye-opening perspective into what it’s like growing up in deaf culture and community while also living in a hearing world that often discriminated against them.
Why: If you are someone who is looking a family-centered story, then Lou Ann Walker’s book is the touching, emotional read for you. In reading A Loss for Words, we as an audience do not only get a glimpse of the experiences of the deaf community, but we also navigate along with Walker through the experiences of being a hearing child raised by deaf parents.
Coffee Shop Read
by Nyle DiMarco
Synopsis: Nyle DiMarco has a range of things under his resume– from actor to model to advocate of deaf rights! In his memoir, DiMarco covers his life growing up as a member of a deaf family and community, and his love for its culture. He shares his humble beginnings in an Italian-American family in New York and learning of ASL, to his shot into fame in a variety of U.S. reality shows and competitions. Through it all, DiMarco emphasizes that his experiences as a deaf community member is something he is proud of, and provides a voice for his community.
Why: In Deaf Utopia, readers learn from a first-person perspective what it was like to be raised in a completely deaf culture and community. We gain a deeper understanding of the obstacles that come with growing up deaf, and also the opportunities when members of the deaf community overcome them. Readers can share with DiMarco his beginnings as a member of the deaf community and learning ASL to his rise into stardom and acting, showing us that people are more than just their disability.
by Christian Fusco
Synopsis: Christian Fusco’s book is a young-adult novel about the journeys of adolescence and friendships in the shoes of Rian, a hard-of-hearing student dependent on cochlear implants. As a new student, she instantly faces discrimination and bullying for her disability, from both Deaf and hearing students. When hope is almost lost, she meets a Deaf boy, Luis Rodriguez, who interacts with her through ASL. Together, they teach each other about their own experiences with deafness, and formulate a revenge plan against their bully.
Why: deaf not Deaf is a great and entertaining book for young-adult audiences. It provides deafness through the eyes of adolescence, and helps us to understand the early discrimination deaf people face from peers and adults and their navigating of life through a hearing community. Despite all this, readers also learn about how despite our hardships, we can always depend on someone out there to understand us.
Be sure to follow along with Bookstr’s Three to Read series here!