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A summer reading list for hard-of-hearing individuals

Contributed by , staff writer

Whether you're a traditional page turner or prefer to download your reads to a personal electronic device, there's nothing that heralds in the beginning of summer like a good book or two. We've found a few with deaf and hearing-impaired characters that are worth checking out at your local library.

Children

Deaf Child Crossing

by Marlee Matlin

Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin writes about friendship between a young deaf girl, Megan, and her hearing friend in this 208-page book. Once Cindy moves into the neighborhood, the two become inseparable and must learn to navigate the nuances of friendship, including jealousy and independence at summer camp.

Nobody's Perfect

by Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin relies on her own childhood experiences to tell the story of Megan, a young deaf girl, and her attempt to befriend the "practically perfect" new girl in school. Megan fears Alexis may not like her because she's deaf - until they're forced to collaborate on a science fair project and Megan discovers her initial perception of Alexis may be wrong.

books for hearing loss
A young adult novel written by 
Jean Ferris. 

Young adult

Of Sound Mind

by Jean Ferris

Theo is the only hearing son in a deaf family. Although he loves his family, his mother and brother are overly dependent. Theo's mother is a sculptor who expects him to act as her business manager, while younger brother Jeremy relies on Theo to help with homework. Theo's father, a carpenter, doesn't like asking his son for help - until he has a stroke and loses the use of his hands. When Theo meets Ivy, another hearing child with a deaf father and an aspiring catering business, they become fast friends - even when their friendship is challenged by changing family dynamics.

Hurt Go Happy

by Ginny Rorby

Although 13 year-old Joey Willis has been deaf since the age of six, her mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. That all changes when she meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his chimpanzee, Sukari, who use sign language to communicate with each other. Her newfound friends and knowledge make Joey happy - until Sukari's survival is threatened.

Five Flavors of Dumb

by Antony John

Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig if she wants to be their manager. She's deaf, so she can't hear their music and band members aren't the most cooperative, but her journey gives her a growing sense of encouragement, family understanding - and a budding romance!

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

by Josh Berks

Readers dub this as a "witty, geeks-rule" debut about an overweight, unpopular deaf newcomer and his even more unpopular buddy who team up to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. The suspicious circumstances of his death launche the two into a Hardy boys-type scenario in which Will "Hamburger" Halpin uses his ability to read lips and understand human interactions to solve the mystery - and experience a little team romance.

The Connor Westphal Mystery Series

by Penny Warner

Connor Westphal is a deaf journalist in the small town of Flat Skunk. This journalist-turned-amateur-sleuth navigates through fields of death, crime and intrigue in this seven novel series.

  • Dead Man's Hand: Who exchanged the wooden dummy hanging in front of the town's gold mining shop for a real body? Connor wants the scoop, but a curious array of suspects coupled with a complicated love life, get in the way.
  • Dead Body Language: When Lacy Penzance is found dead in the local cemetery, Connor goes to work. Could Lacy's anonymous ad looking for a "lost sister" have anything to do with her untimely death?
  • Sign of Foul Play: Was the soil engineers death an accident from the recent earthquake? Or was there something more sinister involved? Connor investigates the construction site where he was found, uncovering more of Flat Skunk's darkest secrets in the process.
  • Right to Remain Silent: It's hard to believe Old Sparkle Bodie came back to life at the funeral home - and even harder to believe someone smothered him to death with a pillow at the hospital within the hour. Were the secrets she uncovered during her genealogy search to blame? Why is her deaf son being blamed for the murder? Connor is determined to find out - if she can stay alive in the process.
  • A Quiet Undertaking: Fisherman Jasper Coyne was hired by Memory Kingdom Memorial Park to scatter ashes at sea, but he's been stashing them in a local storage facility instead. The story is a scandal itself - until Jasper is murdered and Connor's best friend is accused.
  • Blind Side: When Connor's boyfriend, private eye Dan Smith, is retained to find who killed Buford the Bullfrog, things get dangerous. A human body surfaces in Critter Creek along with more dead frogs and Connor must use her sleuthing skills to clear the sheriff's son of the crimes.
  • Silence is Golden: It isn't a gold nugget that old prospector Sluice Jackson found in them thar hills - it's a gold tooth from a long-buried skeleton. Who is it? And who killed Sluice to keep it secret?

Adult

Deafening

by Francis Itani

When, Grania, the five year-old daughter of Irish hoteliers is deafened by a bout of scarlet fever, her mother is devastated. Eventually, she is sent to live at the Ontario School of the Deaf in Belleville, where she learns sign language and speech. After graduation, Grania stays on to teach and meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man whom she eventually marries. Two weeks later, Jim is sent to war and the two must rely on the letters they send back and forth to keep their love alive.

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