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Summer Reading 2024: Discovering Deaf Culture: Home

Exploring Deaf Culture: A Summer of Empathy and Understanding

This summer, the students and faculty of West Sound Academy are diving into two books that explore the experiences of individuals who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.  Our goal is to foster empathy, understanding, and appreciation for the unique perspectives of the d/Deaf community.

El Deafo, by Cece BellMiddle School students will read El Deafo by Cece Bell

In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece 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 as she is.


The Silence Between Us, by Alison GervaisUpper School students will read The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

Deaf teen Maya Harris must navigate a new life--and love--in this #OwnVoices novel that features the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. After her family moves cross-country the summer before her senior year in high school, Maya is forced to attend a hearing school for the first time. She sets out to prove that her lack of hearing won’t stop her from chasing her dreams. NOTE: 11th and 12th-grade students have two additional summer reading assignments. See: 11th & 12th Grades: IB Language & Literature



At the beginning of the school year, Language and Literature teachers will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of the summer reading - through discussions, written reflections, and explorations of the themes in the books.

Hearing Speech and Deaf CenterThen, on September 5, 2024, West Sound Academy will welcome Devin Myers and Jena Floyd, client advocates from the Hearing Speech and Deaf Center in Seattle to our campus. They’ll share their expertise, stories, and insights into Deaf history and culture. Get ready to learn about sign language, famous Deaf individuals, and the vibrant Deaf community.

Remember, reading isn’t just about words on a page—it’s about stepping into someone else’s shoes, experiencing their world, and fostering compassion. Let’s celebrate the power of literature and embrace the silence that speaks volumes.

What are big 'D' and little 'd'?

The letter R in American Sign Language

The letter 'E' in American Sign Language

The letter 'A' in American Sign Language

The letter 'D' in American Sign Language


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Lily the Library Dog enjoying a patch of sunshineSusan Trower


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16571 Creative Drive NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370




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