Inspired By 'CODA,' Here Are Great Books To Teach Your Kids About Deafness

'CODA,' a film about living with deafness, just won the Oscar for best motion picture. These books can show children more about what life is like for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Teach your kid how to embrace the hearing abilities of others with this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/American-Sign-Language-Kids-Communication/dp/1641526017?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="basic sign language book" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/American-Sign-Language-Kids-Communication/dp/1641526017?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">basic sign language book</a>, this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Proud-be-Deaf-Ava-Beese/dp/1526302187?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="child-led book" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Proud-be-Deaf-Ava-Beese/dp/1526302187?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">child-led book</a> on what it's like to be deaf and this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Dachys-Deaf-Dinosaur-Friends-Hughes/dp/0750278013?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="adorable story" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Dachys-Deaf-Dinosaur-Friends-Hughes/dp/0750278013?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62421d5fe4b0742dfa55ac5e%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">adorable story</a> about loving and supporting deaf peers.
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Teach your kid how to embrace the hearing abilities of others with this basic sign language book, this child-led book on what it's like to be deaf and this adorable story about loving and supporting deaf peers.

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The 2022 Oscars featured its fair share of fashion, entertainment and drama in the form of one lone smack heard round the internet. Viewers also witnessed a historic moment when “CODA,” which stands for “child of deaf adults” and features a predominantly deaf cast, won Best Picture.

The heartwarming film, which streams on Apple TV+, tells of a young girl who is the only hearing person in her family.

Director Sian Heder told the Los Angeles Times that she was eager for audiences to really see deaf people in a film.

“There are so many levels for people to identify with and, for people with no connection, who have never met a deaf person, to see sign language, to see deaf people in normal, day-to-day settings... People think that deaf people are monolithic in terms of how they approach life. And this film bursts that myth,” Heder said.

Whether you, your child or a peer is part of the deaf community, the following books can help your kid develop compassion for other’s abilities and celebrate the differences that make us all unique.

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1
A child-led book that teaches kids to understand their deaf peers
Written by a seven-year-old girl named Ava with the help of her parents, "Proud to be Deaf' is a first-person account of what it's like to have hearing differences. Ava speaks directly to her peers and invites them learn more about her community and learn phrases in sign language. This book is a great option if your child has a deaf classmate or a friend with hearing differences and they want to learn more about their friend's experience.
2
A bestselling graphic novel that depicts the powers of hearing loss
Recently adapted into a series for Apple TV+, "El Deafo '' by Cece Bell is a New York Times bestselling graphic novel about a young character named Cece who attends an all-hearing school for the first time. Cece uses a Phonic Ear device to hear better and through this device and her hearing differences, she discovers that being different is actually just a superpower.
3
An award-winning teen novel that discusses ableism
Ableism isn't the easiest concept to teach a child, however, this award-winning teen novel written by deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte is a great start. Inspired by true events, "Show Me a Sign" is the story of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century. It explores themes of ableism and racism while challenging the idea of what really is "normal."
4
A hilarious take on loving yourself and the significance of representation
The protagonist of this story is Mila, an imaginative, precocious and spunky girl who also happens to have hearing differences — although that isn't the main focus of the story. "Mighty Mila" is a hilarious take on what it's like to be a kid overcoming obstacles and establishing self-love while providing much-needed representation for the deaf community.
5
A fun and basic sign language guide for kids and adults
If your child is interested in learning sign language or is non-verbal, this book is filled with 101 easy-to-follow signs to help boost communication. In addition to signing tips for parents and kids, the book also includes practical guides and engaging activities to start conversing through sign.
6
A story about the importance of supporting those who are hard of hearing
Dachy depends on a hearing aid, but one day, after forgetting to turn it on, he finds himself in a bind and needs the help of his hearing friends to get him to safety. This gentle story is a great lesson for your child about allyship and what it means to support those who may have different needs.
7
A book for young adults about the nuances of deaf culture
The book "deaf not Deaf" is the story of an unlikely friendship between two kids that experience different kinds of hearing loss while attending a predominantly hearing public school. It discusses the nuances in Deaf culture, the differences between "Deaf" and "deaf"and the kind of bullying children with hearing differences often endure.
8
A rhyming book based on a true story about a girl who discovers she's different
"Gracie's Ears" introduces what hearing aids are to young children through Gracie's own self discovery about hearing loss and the wonders of modern hearing devices. Based on a true story, this book is written and told through rhyme and includes illustrations.
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