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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

Booklist: Stories with Deafness

One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, yet we rarely see or read stories about Deaf people. Did you know that the Deaf community consider themselves a cultural group as well as a language group? Deaf culture has its own traditions, values and commonalities as well as Auslan usage.

Here are some books that feature stories with Deaf people.

Whisper by Chrissie Keighery

I’m always trying to figure out what’s really going on. Always having to fill in the gaps, but never getting all the details. It’s like trying to do a jigsaw when I don’t even know what the picture is, and I’m missing one of the vital middle pieces. How do you know if your friends are talking about you behind your back, or if a boy likes you? They could act innocent, but you’d know from the rumours. You’d hear the whispers. But what if you couldn’t hear those whispers anymore? What if everything you took for granted was gone? Being a teenager is hard enough. But being a deaf teenager?

El Deafo by Cece Bell


Cover of El Deafo

El Deafo is a funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir for middle graders. It chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear – sometimes things she shouldn’t – but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick


Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set 50 years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerising symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you… and leave you breathless with wonder.


If you’d like to learn more about Deaf culture or about Auslan as a language here are some links for you:



I've read Whisper, such an amazing book...

20th Oct, 18

WONDERSTRUCK IS AMAZING!!! If you like film noir-esque kinds of novels set in a steampunk time then PICK UP THIS BOOK!!!

20th Oct, 18

Late response, but I loved El Deafo!
Another good story featuring a deaf main character is 'You're Welcome, Universe' by Whitney Gardner. It's got Switched at Birth vibes and is just in general, a really great book. :')

24th Nov, 18