Turi’s Book Corner

Welcome to Turi’s Book Corner, where Portland Parent Guide, Turi Hoaglin, shares with you some of her favorite children and adult books! Learn more about Turi, or how to get in touch with her, on our Guide By Your Side page!

Turi’s Book Corner (July 2024)

Thirty Million Words
By Dr. Dana Suskind

This is a book that reminds us of the importance of language. It doesn’t matter if your family uses multiple language, just the need to bombard your child with language. 
This book has three main takeaways: 
Tune In, paying attention to your child’s language cues whether it’s speech, signs/gestures, or visual cues. 
Talk More, narrate everything! It’s the easiest way to expose them to rich language. 
Take Turns, your child is never too young to have a conversation with you. 
Language builds your child brain and in turn sets them up for lifelong success. Afterall what we want to raise Well Adjusted Social Kids or WASK!

Emma Every Day: Crazy for Apples
By C.L. Reid

This is wonderful story about going apple picking that doesn’t go perfectly. Emma wears a cochlear implant and also signs most of the time. 
Included is a fingerspelling guide, some basic signs, glossary of terms, ideas for conversation, and some ideas for written activities at the end of the book. 
There are four books in this series. Enjoy them all. 

Turi’s Book Corner (April 2024)

Mom Dad Not Hear
By Mickey Carola

The author of this book is a CODA (child of deaf adults). It is a wonderful book about empathy, advocacy, accessibility, communication and life. 

As the mom of a strong daughter who happens to be Deaf, I wish this book was around when she was growing up. It’s a great “how to” book for communication more than anything. Communication then leads to leadership and advocacy life skills. 

He talks about barriers for his parents but, even so, they were spectacular parents that taught their children the value of both hard work and finding their passion. He also writes about inclusivity, diversity, and equal opportunities for all. 

I had a hard time putting it down! 

Ling Ling Bird Hears with his Magic Ears
By Tanya Saunders 

This is a bright and colorful book about Ling Ling, a bird who wears cochlear implants (CI) and his journey learning about sound all around us. 

From trees swaying in the wind to buzzing bees, he learns through beautiful illustrations and rhymes. It starts in the morning and ends with bedtime. 

It’s a rich book of color and exploring sound. 

Turi’s Book Corner (March 2024)

Sky the Deaf Home Run Hero 
By Mickey Carolan 

This book is written by a CODA (child of deaf adult). It was written to honor his father who was a skilled baseball player. 

Sky discovers that his superpower is the ability to hit home runs. Even though he’s unable to hear, he can focus on the ball. While dealing with bullies who steal his baseball and glove, Sky continues to support his friends even though he has some trouble with communication. 

Then opening day happens. The bullies are amazed at Sky’s ability to hit home runs, he amazes the team of bullies, and he becomes the Home Run Hero. It also gives Sky the courage to stand up to the bullies and make the world better. 

The Silence Between Us
By Alison Gervais 

This is a coming of age novel about Maya who was late deafened, had been in a deaf school, moved across the country, and enrolled in the local high school with an interpreter. 

This book explores how Maya and everyone at school learned how to navigate communication and full access for Maya. 

Maya meets Beau who takes the time and effort to learn ASL and slowly Maya warms up to him and discovers that even though Maya’s family is very loving, not everyone else has the same security. 

My daughter was fully included in high school with interpreters and reading this book reminded me about how hard she had to work to keep up with her hearing peers. 

I have lived and loved this book. 

Turi’s Book Corner (January 2024)

The Blue Starfish
by Karen Putz 

This is a beautiful story for little ones about identity and being unique. It’s beautifully illustrated with rich bright colors. It’s a good reminder that we are all perfect just the way we are. While we may be a bit different, let’s remember we are all more alike and we can make the world just a little brighter. 

Yummy Veggies
By Karen Putz

This is a counting book with stunning illustrations of many differing vegetables that can be used a wonderful language builder. It includes beets, bok choy, asparagus, potatoes, brussel sprouts, corn, cauliflower, radishes, and many others. It’s a must have to teach our kids about the wonderful world of veggies. 

The Passionate Lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
by Karen Putz 

This is a book that includes stories about 20+ DHH people. This is a wonderful book that led me down the path to learn more about each person profiled.  

This is a book families can read together about a different person each night, reminding our kids that the sky is the limit. There is a race car driver, mountain climber, real estate agent and body builder, to name a few. Once again, a great read. 

Turi’s Book Corner (November 2023)

The Butterfly Cage
by Rachel Zemach 

This is the memoir of a Teacher of the Deaf in public school who herself is Deaf.  

This is a courageous book and what’s wrong in deaf ed and what can make things much better. Language is at the heart of the matter and this book also explores Deaf Identity. I laughed and cried throughout this book as Rachel herself discovers her own identity while teaching her students. It’s about having friends and adults you can count on and how prevalent Audism is within the general education community. I’m sure everyone no matter where you live will see that the same issues are happening in your own community. 

I highly recommend this for parents and professionals alike. 

Deaf Child Crossing
By Marlee Maitlin

This is the story of friendship and how a deaf girl and a hearing girl become BFFs. It’s a great beginning chapter book. 

With Cindy moving in down the street Megan decides they will be best friends and do everything together. This is about each girl navigating the world around them and new experiences. While things get rocky at times both girls in the end figure out that while even if you hurt each other’s feelings in the end their friendship was a great gift to each other. 

There is a companion book entitled, Nobody’s Perfect.  

Turi’s Book Corner (October 2023)

Fostering Joy Journal for Kids 

This is a journal for kids to explore themselves and being deaf or hard of hearing. It’s geared towards kiddos in elementary school and can be done with a trusted grown-up.  

It’s filled with fun activities to explore emotions, stories about successful DHH adults, making lists of favorite things and much more. 

I wish this would have been available when my daughter and her friends were growing up!

You can find it at https://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/fostering-joy/fj-kids-book.html 


Fostering Joy: A Reflective Journal for Families

This is a journal for parents to help them remember that kids are our kids first. It is also a reminder to find the joy in the unique journey of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. It’s a way to put down your hopes and dreams with easy prompts. Once you start looking for optimism, somehow we find more joy. 

This journal is written with prompts and some great quotes to remind us to not look to the destination but to enjoy the journey. 

Let’s Spark Joy! 

You can find it at https://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/fostering-joy/journal.html 

Turi’s Book Corner (September 2023)

Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods that Make My Day
By Jamie Lee Curtis 

This is a beautifully illustrated book to help kids explore their emotions. It includes being silly, grumpy, angry, joyful, excited, and lonely (among other feelings we all experience on a daily basis). Our DHH kids need to spend time identifying and expressing their feelings. 

In the back of the book is a face with wheels to visually change both eyes and mouth for kids to show us exactly how they might be feeling. 

I love this book and you will too! 

The Sign for Home 
By Blair Fell 

As I was walking through Powell’s I came across a display of books featuring many disabilities. This was one of their Staff Picks. 

This novel follows Arlo, who has Usher’s Syndrome, through his journey. He begins by experiencing language deprivation and learns to find his voice and advocate for himself. 

There is an underlying love story that begins at a deaf school where, due to a massive communication break down with law enforcement and the medical community, Arlo and Shri lose each other for five and half years. Finally, through tactile communication, they are reunited. 

This book is a wonderful education in the language needs of the Deafblind community and what is possible when given full language/communication access. 

I highly recommend. 

Turi’s Book Corner (August 2023)

All the Ways I Hear You
By Stephanie Marrufo 

This book should be in your library. It’s a book that explains not only Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, and BAHAs (bone anchored hearing aids), but it also explains the multiple ways we all can communicate. 

It’s written by a mom who is active in Hands and Voices. Ultimately this book is about communication and reminds us that “the BEST way to hear, is the way that works best for YOU!”

This book is an awesome way to educate family members and community. 

Remedies for Sorrow 
By Megan Nix

This is a beautiful memoir that is very readable and should be required reading for anyone who is of childbearing age, grandparents, and EI professionals. 

Megan has done exhaustive research into CCMV and she weaves this technical data into her own story. This is story of why we aren’t more knowledgeable about CCMV as a society, the lack of knowledge among medical professionals, and ultimately her triumph as a fierce advocate for her daughter.

She writes about how CCMV is a preventable virus but also the biggest cause of birth defects in the US. 

This is wonderful book to read that reminds us even if our parenting journey wasn’t what we envisioned, it’s still beautiful and ultimately we will be OK.  

Afterall don’t we all love tulips? 

Turi’s Book Corner (July 2023)

The Empowered Parent: Advocating for Your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child
Edited by Sara Kennedy and Karen Putz

This is a collection of stories from families that have been in the trenches. It is an uplifting book that covers many topics on our journey of advocating for our children. Take aways are real solutions to issues you may be facing and more importantly inspiration that we are not alone. The stories are short so it’s a book that can be picked up and put down. The perfect read for busy families. I saw myself in many of the stories and you will too. 

Here is the link to purchase this wonderful resource: https://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/products.htm 

And She Said Breathe
By Kathy Marvel & Kristen Race PhD

This is a book from the Hands and Voices O.U.R. Project (Observe, Understand, Respond). I love this book for the whole family. One of the authors is a first grade teacher and every couple of pages is a different breathing technique designed to teach all of us simple ways to calm and settle ourselves. Its rhyming prose makes it a wonderful read. I have found that this book is a great way to learn different ways of breathing in a delightful way. Not only is it great for kids, but we as adults can also learn some valuable tools in this book. There is also a free Parent/Teacher Guide that goes along with the book. The Parent/Teacher Guide explains the “why” of breathing mindfully and gives a brief explanation of the brain’s stress response. A must-have book for your parent tool kit! 

Turi’s Book Corner (June 2023)

By Haben Girma 

This is a beautiful memoir about a spectacularly successful Deaf/Blind woman. She is the child of immigrants from Eritrea who came to the United States to build a better life. Her story is one of battle and triumph. Her work ethic has made her so successful that she was able to attend college right here in Oregon at Lewis and Clark on a full scholarship. Later, she earned a full scholarship at Harvard Law School. It’s a wonderful look into how she was able to negotiate with her parents to let her take flight and soar, some of the battles she fought for full access, and ultimately how she is living a rich and full life. 

This is a must read! 

The Color Monster
By Anna Llenas

The language of feelings is hard for anyone, but for our DHH kids we need to really take the time to teach the vocabulary. It’s never too early to begin learning how to identify our feelings. This colorful book helps kids identify their feelings using colors. Yellow for happy, blue for sad, red for anger, black for fear, and green for calm. It teaches them to separate the different feelings and put them into different jars. It’s a fun and happy way to start talking about and naming feelings in beautiful colorful book.