Novels about Deaf Children

Novels about Deaf Children Series Cover

As part of our efforts to share with readers the full range of human experience, Royal Fireworks Press offers a few novels for children on the subject of deafness.

Michael Thal's book Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is a touching story about twelve-year-old David, a violinist who suddenly becomes deaf. In an instant, David's entire life and the future that he dreamed for himself are upended, and he struggles to deal with a disability that can be both challenging and rewarding. Thal was a teacher who became severely hard of hearing later in life. He says, "Deafness is a silent disability. It isolates and ignores. We need to bring this issue to the forefront and help deaf children and their peers come to learn how to live comfortably and positively with one another."

Faith's Journey is a novel about a girl who is born deaf and whose family must learn, through determination and trial and error, how to provide the resources and accommodations necessary for a deaf child in a hearing world. Faith's childhood is further complicated when she is diagnosed with leukemia—a terrifying diagnosis for any child, made all the more difficult because a child who lip-reads can't do so when every health professional around her is wearing a mask and whose hands are so sore from treatment that signing with them is too painful to attempt. Faith's journey is an arduous one, but it is a beautiful story about the power of love among family members who refuse to give up. This book is in production and will become available soon.

Royal Fireworks Press is also pleased to offer books designed to teach young children American Sign Language in the context of fun stories. These books can be found here.

As part of our efforts to share with readers the full range of human experience, Royal Fireworks Press offers a few novels for children on the subject of deafness.

Michael Thal's book Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is a touching story about twelve-year-old David, a violinist who suddenly becomes deaf. In an instant, David's entire life and the future that he dreamed for himself are upended, and he struggles to deal with a disability that can be both challenging and rewarding. Thal was a teacher who became severely hard of hearing later in life. He says, "Deafness is a silent disability. It isolates and ignores. We need to bring this issue to the forefront and help deaf children and their peers come to learn how to live comfortably and positively with one another."

Faith's Journey is a novel about a girl who is born deaf and whose family must learn, through determination and trial and error, how to provide the resources and accommodations necessary for a deaf child in a hearing world. Faith's childhood is further complicated when she is diagnosed with leukemia—a terrifying diagnosis for any child, made all the more difficult because a child who lip-reads can't do so when every health professional around her is wearing a mask and whose hands are so sore from treatment that signing with them is too painful to attempt. Faith's journey is an arduous one, but it is a beautiful story about the power of love among family members who refuse to give up. This book is in production and will become available soon.

Royal Fireworks Press is also pleased to offer books designed to teach young children American Sign Language in the context of fun stories. These books can be found here.

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Books in this series

Goodbye, Tchaikovsky

Author: Thal, Michael

Subjects: School Experience; Disabilities; Deafness; Twice-Exceptionality

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Pages: 136

ISBN: 978-0-88092-469-6

Order code: 4696

Price: $15.00
Website price: $10.00

Goodbye, Tchaikovsky Cover

2nd Place, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction
Honorable Mention, Paris Book Festival
Honorable Mention, Hollywood Book Festival

A twelve-year-old violin virtuoso, David Rothman is an overnight success. He performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in New York’s Symphony Hall and gets rave reviews that attract the attention of the Queen of England. His future as a musician lies brilliantly before him. Then one morning, David wakes up to discover that he has sudden and irreparable hearing loss, plunging him into a silent world and forcing him to adapt to a new culture and language in order to survive. Written from David's perspective, the novel shows how an adolescent boy sets about coping with what he perceives as a devastating new condition. It takes time. How will he communicate with his friends? What can he do about school? How does he deal with unexpected and possibly dangerous situations? What will his future be like?

Michael Thal grew up in the hearing world; as a child, he played the violin and went to concerts, movies, and Broadway shows. But as an adult, one day he woke up to deafness, the result of a virus. The virus attacked again six years later, causing him to lose his hearing entirely in his right ear and leaving him with 65% hearing loss in his left. He says, "I can understand people one on one but not in groups. At the age of forty-four, severe hearing loss took me away from my job as a sixth-grade teacher. From that experience, I was inspired to write this story. If a person has a willingness to learn and an open mind to explore all possibilities, he can find a way to succeed."

Reviews:

"Told in first-person perspective, Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is a story of courage, adaptation, and the struggle to accept a new way of life. Highly recommended." – Midwest Book Review

"...a touching portrayal of a boy who just wants to fit in but finds himself pulled between the hearing and the deaf worlds. Ultimately, what he really needs to find is himself." – Bergers Book Reviews

"Michael Thal’s Goodbye, Tchiakovsky is a great read for entry-level awareness about people with varying degrees of hearing loss. Thal writes about familiar characters that I associate with from my own colorful reality as a deaf person. I was delighted that the main character, David, advanced his visual language skills; he practiced reading (nonverbally) from storybooks with a deaf preschooler who was learning English. The book reminds readers of the importance of literacy for all deaf children." – Jamie Perlman, Orange County Deaf Literacy Project
 
"This book would be an eye-opener for hearing people. As for me, if I had the chance to read it when I began losing my hearing at the age of sixteen, it would have given me hope, comfort, and inspiration. I would recommend
 this book to any young adult or teenager who is going through hearing loss or another disability." – Valerie Stern, LCSW, psychotherapist, Los Angeles 

"Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read. Although the book is written for a young audience, I thought of several people I know who would really benefit from the emotional release the story provides. I loved all the characters and the uplifting tone as the main character, David, struggles through this life upheaval." – Jan Seeley, Temple Beth Solomon for the Deaf

"I really liked this book. Simple statement of fact: I don’t know Michael Thal, but I do now know more about deafness and how folks with hearing loss get through a day. I ached for David as he faced new school situations, signing, the loss of his music, and growing up in an entirely different way than he’d ever imagined. But central to my experience as a writer for kids of all ages was how universal Thal made his character’s experience. David is deaf, but he’s so relatable, as we all remember the terror of starting a new school, the pain of losing a friend, the sweetness of a first love, and the ‘oops’ things we all do growing up. How do any of us survive? We do it like David—just by hanging in there, being willing to try something different, and listening even when you can’t hear. For kids or adults, this is an appealing book for all." – Gail Hedrick, former teacher, freelance writer, and editor

"Goodbye, Tchaikovsky by Michael L. Thal is a wonderful and moving tale of music, hearing loss, and of course, goodbyes. A 12-year-old male violinist wakes to find that everything is silent. He’s prescribed pills to help. Nothing. He is forced to go to a school for the deaf, where he learns sign language, with the help of his uncle, makes friends, and practices for his bar mitzvah. David, like many people, feels stuck. While he wants to hang out with his hearing friends, it's hard to understand them, for they talk too fast and get too restless speaking slowly. His deaf friends sign too fast. He feels he can't fit in in either world. The author, Michal Thal, is also deaf and therefore can relate to David’s struggles, which makes the story more realistic. If you have a lot of empathy, you will have a lot of cries. If you have a sense of humor, you will have a lot of laughs. If you don't even like books, you will love this, I guarantee!"Bryce, 10-year-old reader

2nd Place, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction
Honorable Mention, Paris Book Festival
Honorable Mention, Hollywood Book Festival

A twelve-year-old violin virtuoso, David Rothman is an overnight success. He performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in New York’s Symphony Hall and gets rave reviews that attract the attention of the Queen of England. His future as a musician lies brilliantly before him. Then one morning, David wakes up to discover that he has sudden and irreparable hearing loss, plunging him into a silent world and forcing him to adapt to a new culture and language in order to survive. Written from David's perspective, the novel shows how an adolescent boy sets about coping with what he perceives as a devastating new condition. It takes time. How will he communicate with his friends? What can he do about school? How does he deal with unexpected and possibly dangerous situations? What will his future be like?

Michael Thal grew up in the hearing world; as a child, he played the violin and went to concerts, movies, and Broadway shows. But as an adult, one day he woke up to deafness, the result of a virus. The virus attacked again six years later, causing him to lose his hearing entirely in his right ear and leaving him with 65% hearing loss in his left. He says, "I can understand people one on one but not in groups. At the age of forty-four, severe hearing loss took me away from my job as a sixth-grade teacher. From that experience, I was inspired to write this story. If a person has a willingness to learn and an open mind to explore all possibilities, he can find a way to succeed."

Reviews:

"Told in first-person perspective, Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is a story of courage, adaptation, and the struggle to accept a new way of life. Highly recommended." – Midwest Book Review

"...a touching portrayal of a boy who just wants to fit in but finds himself pulled between the hearing and the deaf worlds. Ultimately, what he really needs to find is himself." – Bergers Book Reviews

"Michael Thal’s Goodbye, Tchiakovsky is a great read for entry-level awareness about people with varying degrees of hearing loss. Thal writes about familiar characters that I associate with from my own colorful reality as a deaf person. I was delighted that the main character, David, advanced his visual language skills; he practiced reading (nonverbally) from storybooks with a deaf preschooler who was learning English. The book reminds readers of the importance of literacy for all deaf children." – Jamie Perlman, Orange County Deaf Literacy Project
 
"This book would be an eye-opener for hearing people. As for me, if I had the chance to read it when I began losing my hearing at the age of sixteen, it would have given me hope, comfort, and inspiration. I would recommend
 this book to any young adult or teenager who is going through hearing loss or another disability." – Valerie Stern, LCSW, psychotherapist, Los Angeles 

"Goodbye, Tchaikovsky is thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read. Although the book is written for a young audience, I thought of several people I know who would really benefit from the emotional release the story provides. I loved all the characters and the uplifting tone as the main character, David, struggles through this life upheaval." – Jan Seeley, Temple Beth Solomon for the Deaf

"I really liked this book. Simple statement of fact: I don’t know Michael Thal, but I do now know more about deafness and how folks with hearing loss get through a day. I ached for David as he faced new school situations, signing, the loss of his music, and growing up in an entirely different way than he’d ever imagined. But central to my experience as a writer for kids of all ages was how universal Thal made his character’s experience. David is deaf, but he’s so relatable, as we all remember the terror of starting a new school, the pain of losing a friend, the sweetness of a first love, and the ‘oops’ things we all do growing up. How do any of us survive? We do it like David—just by hanging in there, being willing to try something different, and listening even when you can’t hear. For kids or adults, this is an appealing book for all." – Gail Hedrick, former teacher, freelance writer, and editor

"Goodbye, Tchaikovsky by Michael L. Thal is a wonderful and moving tale of music, hearing loss, and of course, goodbyes. A 12-year-old male violinist wakes to find that everything is silent. He’s prescribed pills to help. Nothing. He is forced to go to a school for the deaf, where he learns sign language, with the help of his uncle, makes friends, and practices for his bar mitzvah. David, like many people, feels stuck. While he wants to hang out with his hearing friends, it's hard to understand them, for they talk too fast and get too restless speaking slowly. His deaf friends sign too fast. He feels he can't fit in in either world. The author, Michal Thal, is also deaf and therefore can relate to David’s struggles, which makes the story more realistic. If you have a lot of empathy, you will have a lot of cries. If you have a sense of humor, you will have a lot of laughs. If you don't even like books, you will love this, I guarantee!"Bryce, 10-year-old reader

Goodbye, Tchaikovsky Cover

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