Our Favorite Books
Sign Language books I have discovered and highly recommend.
They are favorites of mine and could be a favorite of yours.
ASL Picture Books celebrates excellent books, authors, and ASL!
Disclaimer: The links below will take you to Boohshop.org or Amazon.com ASL Picture Books affiliate.
THE WILLIAM HOY STORY
William Hoy lost his hearing at age three from meningitis. He had a dream of playing ball. He worked hard and never gave up. Then the Cincinnati Reds signed him. He faced a severe problem. Not being able to hear the umpire call balls and strikes, he didn't know the count. Hoy remembered his mom believed in him. Hoy drew images of hand signals the umpires could call the plays. Hoy taught the National League sign language, and we still use those signs today.
Author Nancy Churnin was a journalist for the Dallas Morning News when she covered a High School Play written by Allen Meyer and Michael Nowak, "The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy," Allen had a Deaf daughter and loved baseball. A week after Nancy's article came out, she received an email from a gentleman in Columbus, Ohio. She was certainly perplexed as to why someone from Ohio would respond to this story about a high school play in faraway Garland, Texas.
That email began a lifelong friendship with Steve Sandy, a Deaf historian. Steve had a personal and passionate interest in everything about William Hoy. Hoy, like Steven, had attended the Ohio School for the Deaf. Steven knew Hoy's family and was on a mission to have William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
What a fun story about an amazing man, William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy, who just wanted to play ball! He made such a huge impact and contribution to us all. I love that Steve Sandy reached out to Nancy Churnin, and playwriters Allen Meyer and Michael Nowak wrote a play about William for Nancy to meet Steve and write The Story of William Hoy.
SKY the DEAF HOME RUN HERO
A deaf boy's baseball superpower gives him the courage to turn bullies into friends in a heartwarming picture book.
Young Sky is a boy who was born deaf, but it doesn't stop him from doing what he loves most: playing baseball. Eager and determined, he works hard on his skills until he notices that, swing after swing, every ball is hit, soaring out of the ballpark like an eagle...Sky has a superpower! Not hearing enables him to focus on the ball and hit home runs with ease. But when the bullies try to bring him down, baseball gives him the courage to face them and win them over, and "with every home run, a bully becomes a friend."
Author Mickey Carolan did not have to look far for inspiration for this uplifting story. As a hearing child raised by two deaf parents, he witnessed firsthand the challenges that face some deaf children, namely being bullied for being different. Read our blog for more about the author and this wonderful story.
With Sky, the Deaf Home Run Hero: A Lesson in Courage, Carolan brings a story of bravery and friendship to families and early educators of both the deaf and hearing communities.
LISTEN - HOW EVELYN GLENNIE, A DEAF GIRL CHANGED PERCUSSION
A gorgeous and empowering picture book biography about Evelyn Glennie, a deaf woman who became the first full-time solo percussionist in the world.
"No. You can't," people said.
But Evelyn knew she could. She had found her own way to listen. From when Evelyn Glennie heard her first note, music held her heart. She played the piano by ear at age eight and the clarinet by age ten. But soon, the nerves in her ears began to deteriorate, and Evelyn was told that, as a deaf girl, she could never be a musician.
What sounds Evelyn couldn't hear with her ears, though, she could feel resonate through her body as if she were a drum. And the music she created was extraordinary. Evelyn Glennie had learned how to listen in a new way. And soon, the world was hearing, too.
Ada and the Helpers
"Be bold! Be brave! Let you be you... and let's help others, too!"That's Ada's motto.
Ada is a dancing, deaf fox with cochlear implants who loves to help others. On her way to dance in a talent show one day, she meets three other creatures who are each facing a physical challenge of their own. She decides to help each of her new friends to see past their challenges and discover their natural, God-given strengths. But can they help her in return? Ada's a bit nervous about the talent show!
You will fall in love with Ada and all her friends in this adorable and timely story, beautifully illustrated by Melissa Fischer, and not without a few surprises.
Mighty Mila will delight and entertain, encourage, and inspire you and your family with her love for life and powerful determination to be seen as a BIG GIRL now. Debut author and mom Katie Petruzziello created an exquisite book with illustrator Nadja Sarell. Mighty Mila is a real-life story of Mila, her big brother Luca, her little sister Sofia, her mom Katie, and her cool Dad.
Can Bears Ski?
In an interview, Antrobus says, "He wishes he had a book like this when he was growing up." Hearing parts of communication are missing others. Did they say pears or bears? This is a delightful book to help your little learners be aware of what is heard and what may not be heard and misinterpreted. Enjoy this fun and insightful story by Deaf author Raymond Antrobus.
Can You Hear a Rainbow? It is a fantastic picture book about a deaf boy named Chris. It is a nonfiction book that follows Chris as he socializes with other children, both hearing and deaf. Chris explores themes of friendship, as well as what makes us different and what makes us similar. Chris is a real-life deaf boy exploring a hearing world but does not let his differences hold him back. He even taught his dog how to respond to sign language!
Do you know that the same sign is used for LAND, AREA, FIELD, AND PROPERTY? "The farmer grows good food on his land."
The Gallaudet Children's Dictionary of American Sign Language 1st Edition by The Editors of Gallaudet University Press (Author), Jean M. Gordon Debbie Tilley (Illustrator), Peggy Swartzel Lott (Illustrator), Daniel Renner (Illustrator), Rob Hills (Illustrator) uses these great features. The illustrations are cute and colorful. The "sign drawings," as Gallaudet's authors call them, are in black and white. Provided are directional arrows to show movement in the production of each sign. This is a beautiful book your child will love and every classroom can appreciate. Gallaudet produced an outstanding ASL Dictionary - Five Stars.
When Danny and his family head to the beach, they have no idea what surprise awaits! Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy" by Tina Turbin and illustrated by Aija Jasuna. It was published in 2008 by Imagination Publishing Group. It is a charming, fun story the whole family will enjoy. Danny finds a unique shell on the beach, declaring, "It can talk!" In disbelief, his family agrees it is a nice shell, and he can bring it home. What happens at home is unbelievable! The book's illustrations are brilliant in color with vivid, expressive faces. I rate this treasure Five Stars ***** This story is available on DVD, purchased separately.
Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy" DVD.
Do you love a good story? Do you love it even more told in American Sign Language?" Storytellers Carol Downing and Janis Welch presents a delightful narration signed in American Sign Language. The book is beautifully illustrated in vivid colors and expressive faces. Hear and see Danny and his treasure's adventures together with the whole family! I rate this treasure Five Stars *****.
ABC Phonics - Sing, Sign, and Read!
Learning the ABCs in ASL could not be more fun than with Nellie Edge's spiral-bound book. Illustrated by Gaelan Kelly, each page teaches a sign with simple-to-read instructions. One of the children's favorite signs is "VOLCANO." ABC Phonics is my favorite book to begin teaching children ASL. In thirty minutes, a second-grade class can easily read the instructions and produce the ASL Alphabet and 26 signs. This is an excellent book, an absolute Five Star!
Loved by children, my granddaughter always insisted on her own copy when she was three. At your fingertips, it is easy to carry with you. Random House Webster's Pocket American Sign Language Dictionary 2nd ed. Edition. With the ease of the internet today and so many online resources available, you may not be interested in a pocket dictionary if you are. Universities recommend this one. There are over 1,000 signs clearly illustrated, along with a written explanation to produce the sign using all the parameters. I give this book Four Stars.
Lou Ann Walker is a CODA, a Child of a Deaf Adult. Her 1986 book, A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family, I first read while attending Madonna University. Lou Ann shares that by writing this book, she unveiled the unspoken secrets of her heart. She revealed truths never spoken about or written about before—at that time, no books discussed Deafness the way she did.
The writing process was therapeutic for her, and she learned that Deaf people, CODAs, and hearing individuals can all relate to the experience of isolation caused by feeling different. Like so many authors, she found the courage to speak from the heart to heal all the broken places. Her story could be ours, too.
This book is a timeless treasure into the beautiful lives and language of the Deaf community and their hearing families.
Sara is the author of Girl at War, an enthralling page-turner with a brilliantly read audiobook version. Her writing is gripping, and her emotions are conveyed with a unique depth. This is not a novel for a child to read. Sara holds back nothing in the vivid descriptions of the atrocity of war.
I join Sara in hoping that the representation of ASL becomes a new normal. In her words,
"Deaf and disability inclusion isn't a box to be ticked off an equity checklist – it's a state of constant progress. It's my hope that the current increase in representation will not be viewed as a fad or a 'moment' for deaf people, but the new normal."
In her latest novel, True Biz, Sara weaves the lives of the Deaf, and the hearing, their challenges, struggles, and even secrets. Life in a residential school for the Deaf with family dynamics can get complicated and messy. Sara fearlessly tackles the issues of life in true form.
True Biz "For those who loved the Oscar-winning film CODA, a boarding school for deaf students is the setting for a kaleidoscope of experiences."—The Washington Post.
Deaf in America from a Culture
Do you know American Sign Language has roots in France? Authors Carol Padden and Tom Humphries share the history and a fascinating look into the culture of Deaf people in America today. “Deaf in America from a Culture” is generally required for beginning sign language classes. Through the seven chapters, you will learn about the history of the Deaf community, their culture, literature, and more. I recommend this with Five Stars *****.
The Perseverance is a profound and unique presentation of poetry from the hearts of d/Deaf culture, expressions of identity, and voices longing to be heard. Antrobus is missing nothing through this communication of living silently in a hearing world, not for the faint of heart. Meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. It is a book about communication and connection, cultural inheritance, identity in a hearing world that takes everything for granted, and the dangers we may find (both individually and as a society) if we fail to understand each other. Your heart will be touched.
At last, Ruth Sidranksy’s groundbreaking book In Silence: Growing Up Hearing in a Deaf World is back in print. Her account of growing up as the hearing daughter of deaf Jewish parents in the Bronx and Brooklyn during the 1930s and 1940s reveals the challenges deaf people faced during the Depression and afterward.
Sidransky portrays her family with deep affection and honesty, and her frank account provides a living narrative of the Deaf experience in pre- and post-World War II America. In Silence has become an invaluable chronicle of a special time and place that will affect all who read it for years to come.
America is Immigrnts
A gorgeously illustrated collection featuring inspiring immigrants from every country in the world, celebrating the incredible range of what it means to be an American
This dazzling volume brings American immigrant stories to life in short biographies written by award-winning writer Sara Nović, with charming full-color illustrations by Alison Kolesar. At a time when public debate is focused on who belongs in America, this book honors the crucial contributions of our friends and neighbors who have chosen to make this country their home.
War heroes and fashion designers, Supreme Court justices and pop stars, athletes, and civil rights leaders are featured within.