Thursday, March 03, 2016

Australian Books With Deaf Characters

Thanks to Megan for bringing these to my attention.

Whisper by Chrissie Keighery

Hardie Grant Egmont, 2011
ISBN 9781921759321
Young adult

’I'm always trying to figure out what's really going on. Always having to fill in the gaps, but never getting all the details. It's like trying to do a jigsaw when I don't even know what the picture is, and I'm missing one of the vital middle pieces.’  How do you know if your friends are talking about you behind your back or if a boy likes you? They could act innocent, but you'd know from the rumours. You'd hear the whispers. But what if you couldn't hear those whispers anymore? What if everything you took for granted was gone? Being a teenager is hard enough. But being a deaf teenager? Demi lost her hearing through meningitis and has transferred to a school for the hearing impaired. Whisper deals with the usual teenage struggles, but with extra frustrations and challenges thrown in. The politics of deafness are interwoven into a very readable and engaging story.

The Invisible Hero by Elizabeth Fensham
University of Queensland Press, 2011
ISBN 9780702238901
Young adult

Philip is dyslexic and mildly deaf. He has been raised by his grandmother and is treated as stupid by his classmates. Jack Mackinnon is the star of the school and uses bullying to maintain his power. When the class is set the task of researching heroes and villains, the social order starts to unravel. As Philip emerges from invisibility, he is revealed to have true courage.

My Silent Word by Nette Hilton
Illustrated by Vincent Agostino
Hachette Australia, 2009
ISBN 9781781960912
Primary school

A lyrical description of how a deaf child treasures her silent world and how it is changed by a cochlear implant, which she sees at first as 'the intruder'. She shares her love of this world, and her feelings about discovering sound. With the story addressed to the intruder in her ear, this is a powerful narrative of confusion and, finally, acceptance.

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