How To Deaf Characters


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How To Deaf Characters

  1. 1. How to Do Book Reviews (& Book Talks) with Adolescent Literature that include Deaf & Hard of Hearing Characters Sharon Pajka, Ph.D. Gallaudet University
  2. 2. Have you ever asked: • Should all adolescent books that include Deaf & Hard of Hearing Characters be recommended? • How do you determine which books are appropriate for your students? • Are you willing to criticize an author’s portrayal of a Deaf Character? • How do you sell these books to your students?
  3. 3. Step 1: Know Your Audience • Think about your purpose (Book Talk or Book Review) • Consider the interests of your students • Choose a book with broad rather than narrow appeal • Select a book at the reading level of your students
  4. 4. Step 2: Consider using Deaf & Hard of Hearing Characters When diverse characters are portrayed realistically and authentically in fiction, • Children‘s attitudes about race and gender are affected positively (Campbell & Wirtenberg, 1980; Jetton & Savage- Davis, 2005). • Children begin to understand a sense of ‗self‘ (Campbell & Wirtenberg, 1980; Grice & Vaughn, 1992). • Children show an increase in enjoyment (Smith, 1995). • Children who had been identified as low ability students showed an interest in books with diverse characters. Researchers discovered that these children‘s reading levels had been misrepresented as grades lower than the students could read (Grice & Vaughn, 1992).
  5. 5. Research Findings: Are deaf characters being presented as culturally Deaf or as pathologically deaf and disabled? The majority of the hearing authors presented the cultural perspective model. • The pathological perspective model was underrepresented in the books by the hearing authors; • yet, the majority of deaf authors included the pathological perspective. • Reasons why these deaf authors included more pathological perspective statements while the hearing authors included more cultural perspective statements: – 1. lived experience – 2. fewer deaf characters in books by deaf authors – 3. fewer ‘D’eaf authors
  6. 6. Research Findings: Do these readers favor deaf authors over hearing ones? • The Deaf participants along with the participants as a whole preferred the books written by the hearing authors 1. as better describing realistic deaf people, 2. for presenting deaf characters adequately and realistically, and 3. for the authors’ portrayals of deaf characters matching their own perceptions of deaf people. – In general, the Deaf participants were more critical of the deaf authors while the familiar participants, although as a group preferred the books by the hearing authors, were more critical of the hearing authors. • Participants mentioned their preference for a spectrum of deaf characters. – The books used in this study that were written by hearing authors included a variety of characters.
  7. 7. Step 3: Understand the difference between a Book Review & a Book Talk Book Review= a reaction to a book in which you note its strengths and weaknesses – you may or may not recommend reading this book Book Talk= a brief ―selling‖ of a book with the intent to convince someone to read it – think of it like a movie trailer--start with an attention-grabber & end with a cliff hanger
  8. 8. Book Review • Book Analysis • Characters, Plot, Pt of View, Setting, Style, Tone, Themes • Pathological & Cultural Perspectives of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Characters
  9. 9. Comics & Adolescent Literature Portrayals Comics Adolescent Literature Deafness Pathological Cultural Gender Female (participants all Male (participants male) mostly female) Race Mostly White Mostly White Echo- Biracial 1 African-American 1 Asian- American Language Mostly Oral Most use ASL Echo- multilingual Authors Hearing Hearing Deaf (only a few in comparison)
  10. 10. Step 4 :Book Selection Tips for a Book Talk • Choose a book you love • Never choose a book you haven‘t read • Select a book that others will enjoy but one they might not otherwise notice
  11. 11. Step 5: Present the Book • Display the book • Tell the genre and author details if possible • Discuss the setting of the book • Introduce the main character(s) and your opinions of them – Deaf & Hard of Hearing • Briefly discuss the conflict of the book—but never reveal the resolution; you have to ―hook‖ your readers • Give your opinion of the book‘s theme • State why you would recommend this book or to what audience you would recommend it • Never book talk a book you wouldn‘t recommend (for one reason or another)
  12. 12. (author interviews & insider tips)
  13. 13. Cheshire Moon (1996) by Nancy Butts early middle school-- mystical story) 13-year-old Miranda expects an unfulfilling summer at her aunt's house in Maine. The plot turns mystical when the teens start having identical dreams about a mysterious island. If they're only dreams, why do the teens wake to sand and shells in their beds?
  14. 14. T4 (September2008) by Ann Clare LeZotte It is 1939. Paula Becker, thirteen years old and deaf, lives with her family in a rural German town. As rumors swirl of disabled children quietly disappearing, a priest comes to her family's door with an offer to shield Paula from an uncertain fate. When the sanctuary he offers is fleeting, Paula needs to call upon all her strength to stay one step ahead of the Nazis. *Told in Verse (112 pages) Reading Level: 4th grade Character communicates through Sign Language 
  15. 15. Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller (2007) by Sarah Miller Pub. Date: July 28, 2007 Age Range: 10 to 12 Hardcover: 240pp Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing This book offers an alternative approach to the story of Helen Keller. Readers experience the life of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller through journals written by Annie Sullivan. Readers learn about Sullivan's abusive father, her relationship with her "invalid" brother, and her experiences teaching Helen Keller.
  16. 16. Books for Younger Adolescents Nobody's Perfect (2006) By Marlee Matlin & Doug Cooney  Megan is thrown when a new girl, Alexis, ignores her gestures of friendship. Alexis is pretty, smart, and a great soccer player, but she seems intent on ignoring Megan. Alexis behaves strangely around people with disabilities which is related to her having an autistic brother. Megan, whose family and friends accept her deafness as part of their everyday lives, is shocked by this.   Other Books in the Series
  17. 17. Nobody's Perfect (2006) By Marlee Matlin & Doug Cooney Made into a Bilingual Musical (View Website) Tami Lee Santimyer with Marlee Matlin
  18. 18. Singing Hands (2006) by Delia Ray Gussie Davis is the hearing daughter of deaf parents in 1948. She is a rebellious teen who sings out loud during the church for the deaf where her father ministers. Gussie becomes involved in missionary efforts at a black deaf church and with the Alabama School for the Deaf.
  19. 19. Singing Hands (2006) by Delia Ray based on the author’s family... her grandfather was a Deaf preacher and a leading pioneer in the Deaf community.
  20. 20. New Books for Teens featuring a ‘signing’ animal Hurt Go Happy (2006) By Ginny Rorby Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her, but often fails. Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell. She secretly learns sign language and her life has never been happier.
  21. 21. Read My Lips (June 2008) by Teri Brown Sarcastic, skater chick Serena moves to a new school and mixes with the über popular crowd when they discover her special talent for reading lips. They feel that they have a new secret weapon to snoop out all the gossip in the school. Reading Level: Teen Mainstreamed & Empowered
  22. 22. Northlander (Tales of the Borderlands) (2007) by Meg Burden Reading Age: 12 and older Ellin is a young girl with distinctive hair that indicates that she is clearly from the Southlands. When she goes to assist her father in healing the Northland king, she faces prejudice. While there, she meets members of the king's family, the princes of the Northlands including Finn
  23. 23. Wait for Me by An Na Reading level: Ages 9-12 Paperback: 192 pages Publisher: Puffin Reprint Edition (September 6, 2007) Mina appears to be the perfect daughter. She is bound for Harvard, president of the honor society, a straight A student, helps out at her family's dry cleaning company and takes care of her young sister, Suna (since their mother isn't such a nurturer). During the summer before her senior year in high school, Mina appears to be responsible. She has conjured up so many lies that lead her mother into believing in Mina's fabricated life. In reality, a family "friend", using that term lightly, has taught her about stealing from the family's business. Mina's perfection turns out to be a life of lies.  The character, Suna, is "hearing-impaired" and uses hearing aids.
  24. 24. Feathers (2007) by Jacqueline Woodson When a new student arrives at her school, Frannie’s classmates tell the boy that he doesn’t belong on their side of the highway and that he needs to go to the white side… but the boy says that he isn’t white?!?!When her classmates bully him and mock sign language (since the new boy has yet to respond), the boy uses sign language to say “No, I’m not deaf” (p.14) ?!?! Deaf character Sean is funny and smart… he is also the FIRST African-American Deaf character who uses Sign Language
  25. 25. Deaf Characters in Comics Echo (Daredevil & New Avengers) David Mack’s character Maya Lopez, also known as Echo and Ronin, debuted in Daredevil as a love interest for Matt Murdock. This character now appears in the arc of the most recent issues of The New Avengers. (Biracial, Multilingual, Empowered)
  26. 26. RALLY CAPS (2007) by J. Cutler Stephen and Cutler Del Dottore Jodi Reading level: Ages 9-12 Paperback: 87 pages Publisher: PublishAmerica (2007)  A story about two boys who love baseball and who become friends through their experiences at summer camp. One of the main characters is deaf and uses a cochlear implant.
  27. 27. Resources highlighting children’s/adolescent books with Deaf & Hard of Hearing Characters Check out my Blog! *Includes over 199 titles *Author & Professionals Interviews *Websites & Articles *Free Newsletter