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review 2019-01-20 14:02
The Sound of Silence
The Sound of Silence - Myron Ulhberg

by Myron Uhlberg

 

Non-fiction

 

This is the story of a boy with normal hearing growing up with deaf parents and the issues that caused in a time when disability awareness was significantly less than it is now. It's a very personal story and the situation put a lot of responsibility onto a small child that was often stressful and at times heartbreaking.

 

Acting as an interpreter between his parents and the hearing world from the time he could talk, young Myron was sometimes put in the uncomfortable position between his father's temper flashes and people he didn't want to insult. Worse, when his younger brother developed epilepsy, he was the one who was expected to deal with seizures that his parents couldn't hear happening.

 

It was a lot to expect of a child and prevented him from having a normal childhood. Often the cruelty of ordinary people was such that they referred to the parents as "dummies" because they couldn't communicate in ways the general population were used to. It's an ongoing problem today with companies that only offer customer service by phone, assuming anyone deaf can afford specialist equipment for phone communication and not catering to the hard of hearing at all.

 

It was well written and gave insight into the life of a person born into unusual circumstances. I felt it ended at just the right point too, though I wonder how his parents got on after he grew up and moved away. I think this kind of story is useful for people to get insight into what it's like to grow up in a family where disability creates special circumstances, so those who haven't had this experience can develop empathy for the diversity of people who live among us.

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text 2018-03-09 16:38
Mental Health & Thankfulness [3/9/18]
TW: I talk about suicide and mental health.
 
I'm thankful for a lot of things, and of course the obvious things you would think of, family, friends, that I am even alive...etc. But it is hard to remember some things when you are going through mental health stuff, and I am going through it every day.
 
 
Some days are worse, some days are better. It is a life long battle. Chronic pain also contributes. So every day I am trying to think of something I am thankful for that day, even if it is the smallest, sometimes (in your opinion maybe) weirdest thing!
 
I am thankful that today I was able to buy (Yes, it is a material thing) an audiobook from Audible. The daily deal was a book I liked a lot and the price was %80 off (If I did the math right). Books are my happy place a lot of the time. I do have this most annoying thing that my mental health does and it contributes to me not being able to focus or read, but when I can read, it really makes me feel happy. It is an escapism.
 
I'm not going to stop talking about mental health. I'm not seeking attention or pity. Mental health needs to be normalized and we should not penalize someone who goes through it. It is a serious health condition that does, and can result in death.
 
Suicide is often a side effect of someone suffering with mental health conditions. It is horrible and sad, but it is the ugly truth. Suicide is not weakness, nor someone being selfish. True, In some cases there are people who do it who might not have mental health problems, but I think if you get so far gone that you kill yourself, there is some form of mental health disorder at play, maybe not. We can't know for sure. You should not judge that person; you are not in their shoes.
 
In some cases, I believe people who are suicide victims probably never had the support they needed, nobody to talk to, or nobody took them seriously. People will tell children they are just in a phase or trying to get attention. They grow into an adult who probably has a worse time, because they never got help as a kid. A traumatic event can cause mental health problems in any stage of life.
 
If someone suddenly seems to have depression, doesn't mean they are making it up. Even doctors will tell someone they are fine, nothing is wrong. Not all doctors know everything. Nobody knows everything.
 
Mental health is a illness. There isn't a cure. There are ways of managing/coping, but no cure. We need to be able to talk about it. It is never good to bottle things inside. Despite how much I post awareness or talk about it in person, I bottle so much more inside which ends up in an explosion. We need to express more.
 
Stop saying we're selfish and attention seeking for talking about our health problems. Would you yell at someone with cancer for updating you on their condition? I just don't get why mental health has this stigma. This goes for other invisible illnesses as well.
 
I'm strong. I'm valid. I'm beautiful. I'm worth it. Mental health, you tell me I am not these things every day, but I am.
 
What are you thankful for today?
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review 2018-01-24 23:24
Yes, Stand Tall!
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell,David Catrow

"Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" by Patty Lovell is another good book to use when discussing bullying and standing up for yourself. In this story, Molly is a small child who looks different from her friends. Her grandmother tells her to stand tall and the world will love you. She moves towns and is bullied by a boy named Ronald Durkin at her new school, but she never lets him get her down. She just shows him what she can do and in the end they become friends. I would use this story for any elementary grade to spread awareness about bullying and teach a lesson about always being yourself. It also sends a message to never judge one another based on the way someone looks or talks. Molly Lou Melon gets judged by her new friends and bullied just because she is different. Reading this story on one of the first few days of school could present an opportunity to set up a quick meet and greet in the classroom. Depending on the number of students depends on how you would set up how they can rotate and meet each other. They could have a minute or 2 to share three things that say who they are. Then rotate until everyone has had a chance to talk and meet everyone in the class. This would be better than having all the students stand or get in front of the class to introduce themselves, because some students may be really shy at first. Doing this gives the students an opportunity to talk and share themselves with each other so they can all have a connection from the beginning and know they are all friends in that classroom. There are several other books that would work for this as well, but this story sends a great message. 

 

 

 

Lexile: AD560L

Guided Reading Level: L

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

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url 2018-01-17 10:36
Ama Historical Fiction Free on Amazon this weekend
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma: Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Ama Historical Fiction Free on Amazon this weekend.

Ama Alchemy of Love Book Quote by Nataša Pantović Nuit

 

Spiritual Historical Novel. A-Ma is a historical spiritual novel set in the 17th century (Age of Enlightenment) Macao that follows lives and spiritual insights of settlers of this little peninsula in the middle of China. A-Ma main protagonist is Ama, an African alchemist, Goddess, a guru, a lover, a story-teller that inspires and gathers artists, preachers, priests, philosophers...

"Deep profound reading. Fallowing a very interesting story set in the 16th century of Alchemy, magic, Chinese I Jing. The dance of Yin and Yang, rational and intuitive is very obvious within the chapters of the book. A female dreamy approach to life versus a male, an energetic and scientific approach. Ama lives during the scientific revolution of Age of Reason, during the time when missionaries tried to convert Chinese to Christianity finding a rich, advanced, intriguing culture, and philosophical..."

https://www.amazon.com/Ma-Alchemy-Love-Nataša-Pantović-ebook/dp/B06X6GQHTZ

Source: www.amazon.com/Ma-Alchemy-Love-Nataša-Pantović-ebook/dp/B06X6GQHTZ
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