Review: I’ll Scream Later

“In February of 1987 when I went on Nightline to discuss Gallaudet University’s controversial Deaf President Now movement, the show was captioned for the first time. Anchor Ted Koppel used most of the intro to explain to the audience about the captioning they would see – technically open captioning, since anyone could see it – interpreters they would hear, signing they would also see.” page 182

Advertisements

I’ll Scream Later by Marlee Matlin, with Betsy Sharkey.
Originally published 2009 Handjive Productions, my edition Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2010.
Autobiography/memoir, 327 pages.
Not leveled.

Marlee Matlin is one of the few Deaf performers well-known to hearing audiences, but there are also many other aspects of her life and self.  She was catapulted to fame with a Best Actress Oscar on Children of a Lesser God.  Now twenty years later, she’s written a tell-all memoir about drug addiction, abusive relationships, and more.

I'll Scream Later resized

This was a book full of surprises.  I was moved by what an important part her Jewish faith has played in her life, especially how her childhood synagogue was fully inclusive as a hearing/Deaf worship space, with a signing rabbi.  How beautiful that her early use of language included a rich religious environment where she was able to learn about God through her own language, ASL.

Continue reading “Review: I’ll Scream Later”

Sign: It’s NOT All the Same

Sign isn’t universal and English-speaking countries each have different versions of visual, signed language!

I’ve had an interest in sign language for a long time and have been (mostly informally) learning ASL for almost a decade.

wonderstruck-fingerspell-book-cropped
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, learn to fingerspell your name or other words in ASL at http://www.scholastic.com/wonderstruck/signs.html

One aspect that many people who aren’t aware of Deaf culture often misunderstand is that there are different types of sign, just like there are different spoken languages.

Continue reading “Sign: It’s NOT All the Same”

Review: Gloria Rising

“Maybe the people in line behind us thought Dr. Street and I were mother and daughter having a serious conversation, because they left some space around us.” page 13

Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron, illustrated by Lis Toft.
Stepping Stones, Random House Children’s Books, 2002.
Realistic fiction, 98 pages.
Lexile:  640L  .
AR Level:  3.9 (worth 1.0 points)  .
NOTE: Technically part of the Julian/Huey/Gloria series, but works as a stand-alone.

Before the start of fourth grade, Gloria has an unexpected encounter with a celebrity astronaut who looks like her and answers all her questions about space!  But at school, her teacher doesn’t believe she met Dr. Street, and worse, thinks she’s a troublemaker.

Gloria Rising

I got this book at the dollar store back when I first started reading diverse.  That was part of the reason that I grabbed it, as was the cover.  A young black girl in space with an onion?  So many questions.  I regret to inform you that this book is not science fiction (as the cover would indicate).  However, it’s still worth reading!

Continue reading “Review: Gloria Rising”

Review: Dave the Potter

“To us / it is just dirt, / the ground we walk on. / Scoop up a handful. / The gritty grains slip / between your fingers.” page 3

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier.
Little, Brown, and Company Hachette Book Group, New York, 2010.
Picture book biography, 40 pages including end notes.
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, 2011.
2011 Caldecott Honor recipient.
Lexile:  AD1100L (What does AD mean in Lexile?)
AR Level:  6.0 (worth 0.5 points) .

Dave the Potter was a real-life African-American slave and artist.  He must have been incredibly strong, because he was able to successfully make pots as large as forty gallons.  He knew how to read and write, because he marked poems into the sides of some of his pots.  Beyond that we may never know many of the details of his life.

Dave the Potter Cover resized

This book came up several times before I bought it.  The first time, it was mistakenly labeled as fiction.  Later I realized it was non-fiction and added it to the bottom of my TBR.  After reading When the Beat Was Born by the same author, I decided to purchase this book, knowing that the writing would be excellent.  And I loved it!

Since so little is definitively known about Dave, this book focuses on the process of making his pottery that Dave would likely have gone through, using sparse poetry, detailed and realistic images of the process, and collage backgrounds imagining the world he inhabited.

Continue reading “Review: Dave the Potter”

Web Wednesday: Updates

Gosh, it feels good to be book blogging again!  I’ve still been reading, but not at my normal volume, and not all diverse, but I do have some reviews to start going up again.  We are still in the thick of things, so I didn’t have much time to read OR post, but if you have any posts you’d like me to read link them in the comments!

If I add anything that is backdated I will let you know by adding to this post or (if it’s a long time after this post) making a new one with links.  Thanks for continuing to read even as I didn’t have much new content in July.

Meanwhile, today I read a post by Kristen Twardowski about Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress.  She points her readers to an interview with Carla by the New York Times.

What jumped out at me the most while reading this interview was this question:

Is there one book that made you a reader?

I often talk about my favorite book, which is “Bright April,” by Marguerite de Angeli. It was about a young African-American girl who was a Brownie with pigtails. And that was me. It was the first book I remember where I really saw myself. I think books are so important as windows to other worlds, but they can and should also be mirrors. For young readers to see themselves in something important like a book, that really makes an impression.

I’ve never heard of this book before, but you can believe it’s high on my TBR now!  Amazingly, there doesn’t seem to be a modern reprint of this 1946 classic, so it’s not widely available.

After a little searching, I was able to discover one branch library that does have this book, however it is marked library use only (unusual for a fiction book), so I suspect that it is in the rare book collection.  This will take a bit more investigation to see if it is possible for me to read it in the library, or if I would need to arrange an appointment to see it, or if it’s not available to the public at all.  It would involve some traveling and a time commitment on my part, so it may be a while before you hear more about this.

In the meantime, I did discover a sweet blog with many pictures from the book, to whet your appetite as we wait for the favorite book of the Librarian of Congress to be reprinted.

Another fascinating website to peruse is the National Library Service, an initiative to provide library services to the visually (and in some cases physically) impaired.

 

Hiatus

Dear Readers,

ColorfulBookReviews will be on hiatus until August, as my family currently needs me.

I do have some reviews scheduled to go up, but they need final editing and/or photos, and I’d rather spend my limited computer time reading your posts and commenting than stressing about trying to meet my normal posting schedule.

Most likely I will back-date the posts I had planned for the next two weeks.

My Apologies,

CBR

Review: The Lucky Few

The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places by Heather Avis.
Zondervan, HarperCollins, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017.
Adoptive parent memoir, 223 pages.
Not Leveled.

This is the story of one woman who couldn’t become a mother even though all she yearned for was motherhood.  This is the story of her three children, and the journey she and her husband went through to bring them home and accept them as forever family.

The Lucky Few

This was a fairly light and quick read.  (I finished it in a few hours, your mileage may vary.)  I think if I didn’t know so many people in situations very similar to hers, this might have had more impact.  As it was, I felt like she kept the story extremely positive and glossed over a lot of the harsh realities.  However, that makes sense given that the goal of this book is to reach as many people as possible.

In parts it is more obvious than others that Avis was extremely lucky.  She glosses over the birth family of their daughter Truly Star, which makes sense because she is quite young yet and not ready to decide if she wants to disclose that information to the world.  She has close and loving relationships with the birth families of her other two children.  That’s fairly unusual, especially the birth family reaction to her.  Perhaps it’s a different scenario because they have Down Syndrome as opposed to other challenges.

Continue reading “Review: The Lucky Few”