There are a number of books available now for children with hearing loss. This is a good thing because it is important for children with hearing loss, or any other disability, not to feel that they are alone.
The books are divided into two groups – one for and about children who use spoken language and a second for children who use sign language. These are good for children with hearing loss, for their siblings, and for typical hearing children who want to understand something about disabilities. This is not a complete list, but just what I have my hands on now. I am happy to hear about other books.
Books for children who use spoken language
Some books have been written by parents who felt there were no books that spoke to their children. Others were written by hearing aid or cochlear implant manufacturers and others by teens or adults with hearing loss.
A few months back, Wendy Kupfer wrote for this blog about her book Let’s Hear It For Almigal. It tells the story of a little girl with hearing loss who gets cochlear implants. The book covers her adventures and talks positively about her life.
A Birthday for Ben by Kate Gaynor and Karen Quirke is about a 7-year-old who wears hearing aids. Ben speaks and also uses sign language. He has a birthday party where they play games that children who speak and children who sign can all play together. No one feels left out and it is Ben’s best birthday party ever.
Hear Bear Discovers a World of Sound by David and Brooke Sawyer is distributed by Siemens Hearing Instruments. It is about a little bear who had trouble hearing. He went to the ear doctor and the audiologist. He gets hearing aids and then can hear everything.
Mellie Goes to Preschool is distributed by Medel, a cochlear implant manufacturer. Mellie is an elephant who gets a cochlear implant and goes to school, where she learns new words and hears a lot of things.
Cosmo Gets an Ear by Gary Clemente is about a little boy with hearing loss. The book describes the process of getting hearing aids and all the new sounds Cosmo can hear with them.
Abby Gets a Cochlear Implant by Maureen Riski is the story of a little girl who has purple hearing aids and then gets a cochlear implant.
In Ellie’s Ears by Elizabeth Boschini and Rachel Chaikof, a little girl explains her hearing loss to her class. Happy Birthday to My Ears, which is written by the same authors, is a book for very young children and tells about a little boy’s first year with his cochlear implant.
Elana’s Ears by Gloria Lowell is intended for siblings of children with hearing loss. It tells about a sister who is determined to be the best friend and helper for her sister with hearing loss.
In El Deafo, Cece Bell writes about a little girl who loses hearing at age 4 from meningitis. At first she retreats into herself, but then she gets an FM system and is able to hear the teacher. She has trouble hearing in some situations, but the FM gives her super powers because, unlike her classmates, she can hear what the teacher is saying from a distance if the teacher forgets to turn off the microphone. The book touches on different attitudes – disability vs difference. While I really do not like the title of the book, the topic is a good one.
Books for Children Who Sign
Nobody’s Perfect by the actress Marlee Matlin is about a little girl who attends a mainstream school with an interpreter. She has a birthday party, but the new girl in the class does not attend, so she uses sign language to make friends.
Dad and Me in the Morning by Patricia Lakin is the story of a little boy and his father and it shows how there are many ways to communicate.
Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman recounts how a little boy and his classmates go to a concert and enjoy the feel of music. The percussionist in the orchestra is deaf and performs in stocking feet so he can feel the vibrations.
In Prudence Park and a Sign Friendship by Christine Burk, a hearing girl meets a deaf girl on the beach and uses her knowledge of sign language to develop a friendship.
Can You Hear a Rainbow? The Story of a Deaf Boy Named Chris by Jamie Riggio Heelan features a 10-year-old boy who uses a variety of communication modalities and hearing aids to communicate.