Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Minor Deaf Character in recent Adolescent Fiction Book

There is a very minor deaf character (so minor that this book won't be added to my 100+ and Counting List of Deaf Characters). Interestingly enough, the main character Rusty's "special skill" lipreading is a significant part of the plot. "At school [Rusty] had fun reading lips and claiming that he had super hearing because of eating a secret root" page 2. Rusty learned to lipread from Edna (deaf character) who was his nurse who read to him while he was ill. Edna attended "a special school in Boston where she was taught to read lips" page 2.

Rusty Son of Tall Elk (2008) by Charles H. Bertram
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Dna Press

Product Description
An innocent game of cowboys and Indians becomes a reality for 10-year-old Russell Weaver when he is captured by Cheyenne Indians in this historical adventure novel. “Rusty” is a bright, red-haired, freckled-faced farm boy from a German-Irish Midwest family, and when Chief Walks Fast sees Rusty’s red hair, he adopts the boy. The chief has a daughter of mixed ancestry with fire red hair, and believes it will be strong medicine to raise a boy and a girl with this unusual trait. Rusty’s new sister is one inch taller, one year older, and none too pleased about this new rival to her status. Rusty must prove himself to his new sister, make a place for himself in his new family, and adapt to an entirely alien way of life. He discovers a talent for storytelling, and becomes expert in making slings and javelins. Little by little, this pale stranger becomes assimilated into his new tribe, and at age 12 he undergoes a traditional vision quest and vows to stay with the Cheyenne until the age of 16.

About the Author
Charles H. Bertram is a retired special education teacher and the author of The Stone Bear.

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