Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s theme is a Back to School freebie. I wanted to talk about books in my classroom library. I’m actually an itinerant teacher so I don’t have a physical classroom, but these are books I’ve read with my students and shared with gen ed teachers and families. I teach B-21 so I have books for preschoolers all the way to YA and adult on my list.
1. El Deafo by CeCe Bell
I love this book so much that I bought it for all 5 of my itinerant colleagues a couple years ago for Christmas. El Deafo is an own voices graphic novel about the author’s love growing up in the 70s when big boxy body hearing aids were worn. She writes about meeting her audiologist, getting her hearing tested, using hearing aids for the first time, the difficulties of lip reading, getting an FM system, and more.
2. Deaf Child Crossing by Marlee Matlin
Another own voices book, Deaf Child Crossing is a middle grade novel that a lot of my older elementary girls have loved reading. Usually this book is the first they time they’ve found a character they can identify with. There are three books in the series and often times my students ask me if they can borrow the other two to take home and read on their own.
I was first exposed to this book in one of my high school ASL classes, and I’ve been recommending it to people ever since. This is the best book I’ve found for people interested in the Deaf community and Deaf culture. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
I read this one for the first time in high school too. Winning Sounds Like This is written by a sports writer who had no previous knowledge or understanding of Deaf culture before traveling to Gallaudet to write a story about their women’s basketball team. He learns a lot from the athletes he meets, and exposes some of the misconceptions and discrimination the deaf players encountered throughout the season.
5. Just Like You by Robert J, Kroupa, Illustrations by Hannah E. Harrison
Just Like You is a cute story about a deaf mouse named Henry and his friend, Boris the spider. They’re both disabled and the book is about belonging and accepting people with differences.
6. Moses Goes to School by Isaac Millman
There are four books in the Moses Goes series, but this one is my favorite for teachers. Many times, I’ve loaned it out to preschool and kindergarten teachers to read with their classes so they can learn more about their deaf or hard of hearing classmate. Although Moses attends a school for the deaf, the books are not about his disability, but rather are written more like a day in his life. These books really help younger kids understand that a child isn’t different from them just because they have a hearing loss.
7. Shay & Ivy by Sheena McFeely
I’ll admit that I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve watched a couple interviews with the author and I’m dying to get my hands on it. I think it had a limited printing, because it’s been out of stock on Amazon for almost a year. Shay & Ivy is another book about Deaf characters that doesn’t focus on their deafness. It’s about two princesses who go beyond their kingdom to imagine themselves as scientists, pilots, and astronauts.
8. The Artificial Ear by Stuart Bloom
Cochlear Implants are praised in the medical community as a miracle cure for deafness. In fact, they have had a very negative impact on the Deaf community and opinions have been very divisive. The Artificial Ear is about the history of the CI and the controversy it’s had on Deaf culture and the community. I haven’t read this one yet either.
9. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hate List is one of my favorite books and one that I think everyone should be required to read. It’s about a school shooting, and it’s told from the POV of the shooter’s girlfriend. She was shot trying to stop the shooting, but she also helped create the list he used to pick his targets.
10. School Days Around the World by Margreit Ruurs
There are several books in this series about diversity for kids, and this is the only I think my students would find the most interesting. In the book, we travel to 13 different countries to learn about how schooling experiences are different around the world
What would be in your classroom library?