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Healthy Hearing's top 2015 summer reads

Contributed by | Monday, June 15th, 2015

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Ah, summertime. Even if you have to steal a few days here and there to enjoy it, the season’s laid-back rhythm of long days filled with fireflies, barefoot children and neighborhood barbecues is irresistible. And because summer’s allure is much more intriguing when you have a good book to read, here are Healthy Hearing’s picks for your 2015 summer reading pleasure.

Children’s books – preschool to age 8

Experts agree the best way for children to maintain the reading skills they’ve accumulated during the school year is to read during the summer. And while you may be met with some resistance, these hearing loss-friendly books just may be the hook you need to keep your child reading this summer.

"Dina the Deaf Dinosaur," by Carole Addabbo

hearing loss books
Start your summer off right with this list of the
top hearing-friendly reads!

Amazon: Paperback $17.26, Kindle $7.12

Have any animal lovers in the house? If so, they may want to read all about Dina, the deaf dinosaur who runs away from home because her parents won’t let her learn sign language. In the woods, she befriends Otto the Owl, Moliere the Mole and Camilla the Chipmunk. The author, Carole Addabbo, has been deaf since birth, teaches sign language and is an actress and mother of a teenage son.

"Can You Hear a Rainbow?" By Jamee Riggio Heelan

Amazon: Hardcover $13.59

Ten-year-old Chris attends public school, plays soccer and has one of the lead roles in the school play. What’s the difference? Chris is deaf, and in this reassuring book, he tells readers what it’s like to wear hearing aids, use sign language, receive speech therapy and work with an interpreter.

"The Smart Princess and Other Deaf Tales," by Keelin Carey

Amazon: Paperback $9.95, Kindle $8.49

This collection of stories, written and illustrated by winners of The Ladder Awards and organized by the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, take readers inside the fantasies, dreams and disappointments of young people who are deaf. Read about a princess who runs away when her intolerant aunt forbids her to sign, how hearing astronauts learn to cope when their spaceship lands on a planet of the Deaf, and a poetic adventure about an imaginary tiger.

"A Birthday for Ben," by Kate Gaynor

Amazon: Paperback $8.99, Kindle $3.99

Why doesn’t seven-year-old Ben want a birthday party? When his friends surprise him with one anyway, he learns just how easy it is for everyone to join in the fun.

"Secret Signs: Along the Underground Railroad," by Anita Riggio

Amazon: Paperback $10.76

When his mother is detained on suspicion of hiding slaves, Luke, who is deaf, must be courageous and resourceful in order to meet their contact on the Underground Railroad and pass along critical information.

"Rosa’s Parrot," by Jan Wahl

Amazon: Hardcover $27.66

Rosa loves her pet parrot, Pico, who repeats people’s questions loudly so she can hear. Will Rose forgive Pico when he plays a prank on her at the marketplace? Maybe. But first he must spend some time in the corner.

"The Spelling Window," by Dawn L. Watkins

Amazon: Paperback $5.49

Shelly’s hearing-impaired neighbor, Seth, embarrasses her with his loud voice and exuberance, but an accident on a school field trip changes her perspective. Read how she learns to appreciate the spelling window and communicate with Seth.

Adult Readers

Did you know reading with your child (or grandchild) everyday can help them become strong readers and improve your relationship with them? So, once you help them select a title from our list, here are a few titles for you to choose from, too. Snuggle up. Summertime is calling!

Audiologist Recommendation:

"The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People," by Stephen Covey

Summer is a good time to learn a few new habits – seven of them as a matter of fact, according to Dr. Eric T. Linert of Advanced Hearing and Balance Center in Georgia. He recommends any of the 7 Habits books: The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.

Dr. Linert believes these books encourages the collaboration between patient and hearing healthcare provider by providing proactive educational support which empowers the patient to make better communication choices.

“People with hearing loss can benefit from proactive problem solving,” he explained.  “This skill allows the person with hearing loss to assess their challenges and determine what they can change and what to accept in a given situation.  The choice of when to be assertive and when to accept the circumstances is challenging, but learning how to process their options and move forward is critical to living well with hearing loss.”

"Song Without Words: Discovering My Deafness Halfway Through My Life," by Gerald Shea

Amazon: Hardcover $18.72, Kindle $14.99

Gerald Shea, who discovers that he has been deaf since childhood at age 34, writes a witty and candid memoir of how he compensated – and managed to navigate his way through Andover, Yale and Harvard Law School to establish a prestigious, international law career.

"The Passionate Lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People," by Karen Putz

Amazon: Paperback $9.86, Kindle $2.99

This collection features stories of read deaf and hard-of-hearing people who have passionately pursued their interests, from climbing mountains to racing cars and much more.

"The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child," by Paul Ogden

Amazon: Paperback $28.02

Author Paul Ogden, deaf since birth and a professor of Deaf Studies, helps parents make critical decisions, such as how to communicate with their child and what type of school their child can attend.

"Speak to Me," by M.C. Forecki

Amazon: Paperback $17.05

This compelling true life story deals with a single parent who discovers that her one-year-old son is deaf. 

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