Allison Schley,MEd, is the author of Forever Friends, a book about a young boy, his dog, and their friend Megan. The interesting part of Allison’s story is that both the boy, Matt, and his pet friend, Dexter are deaf.
I asked Allison to explain the backstory behind Forever Friends.
What inspired you to write this book?
Allison: I have taught deaf and hard of hearing kids for 20 years, and I have always seen a need for them to work on social skills and self esteem. I adopted (my dog) Dexter a year ago, and he is my best friend. As I started writing, I knew he needed to be in the book. His personality is contagious. He is not deaf, but I wanted to create a parallel story with him and the main boy, Matt.
Matt just came from my heart as a compilation of students over the years. Megan is my daughter; she truly is a compassionate, accepting girl who welcomes kids of all abilities and nationalities.
Could you explain the moral of your illustrated story?
The moral is all kids are special and being deaf is okay. It is also about stepping outside of your box and how it allows you to expand your world. Just by Megan learning a few signs, she could communicate. I want parents to know they can jump in and just communicate with their kids, regardless of how little they know!
Tell us more about yourself.
I grew up in Beachwoid, Ohio, where the Cleveland-area Deaf Education kids were bused. I learned signs at age eight on the playground and never looked back. I have taught for 20-plus years and tried to incorporate what I have seen into the story.
What do you hope people learn from your story?
Deaf and hard of hearing kids are good, and it is okay to be different. I want them to know they can communicate and need to try. I want deaf and hard of hearing students to relate to Matt and Dexter and feel special.
My hope is to get this book into hands of all children with hearing loss. I have a donation program for the Deaf Mentor Program in Wisconsin. Children with hearing loss who use American Sign Language (ASL) have a Deaf adult come to their home and teach ASL and about Deaf culture. I want all of these 40 to 50 families to get the book, so these kids will feel special. I am selling book for this donation at $8 per book. Books can be ordered at www.2foreverfriends.com.
I also want to mention an incredible illustrator, Collin Richter, who is 17! Without him, our book would not be what it is.
Win a copy of Forever Friends!
In the Comments below, list *three reasons* why this book would be important to you or a loved one. Comments will be judged on their originality and sincerity. U.S. residents only, please. Deadline: Sunday, December 16, 2012, midnight, 12:00pm CST.
This sounds like a good book too! ok, 1–I know what its like to be deaf, as I am without my CI’s, 2–I love dogs!, and 3, I know what a relationship between me and my dogs mean to me. They are not only my babies, but they are also my hearing helpers.
I know what it’s like being hearing impaired! I would love to share this book with my kids to help them understand my world a little better! I would also love to donate copies of this book with a local hearing loss charity in my area of Atlanta! 🙂
this sounds like an amazing book! 3 reasons i would love to have it for my children: 1. they always need to be reminded to persevere in all circumstances 2. they need to be reminded how blessed they are to have eyes that see and ears that hear and legs that run 3. they need to be aware of others’ challenges so they can be more sensitive to others’ needs, and a friend to all!
Wow! I would love to read this to my daughter! Okay, three reasons I would love to have this book : 1) My daughter is deaf and uses CI’s to hear. 2) I would love for her to read another story about how someone else is “just like her”. 3) I want her to know that others use sign language on a daily basis, and that it is okay for her to use it!
I would love to share this book with my with my 2 deaf grandchildren and my 2 hearing grand children. I think the hearing children can learn more about using CI and being deaf. So they will not be afraid if the two death children gets CI.
I have 5 kids. My oldest daughter, named Megan, is hard of hearing and also a budding artist! This would be a good book for all my kids. I also am taking ASL and interpreting classes in college now and hoping to become an interpreter or some kind of teacher of deaf students or ASL after I retire from my current job. I am building a library of kid and adult books about Deafness and related subjects. Megan is taking her 2nd year of ASL in school, but is thinking about stopping. I am hoping she will continue. She loves to write and create art. She is currently planning to be an English or art teacher. It would be a great encouragement to her also to see a book illustrated by a teen.
Thank you all for the interest and great comments! I am truly humbled! I know some of you talked a out donating a book. I have a donation project in WI for families in Deaf Mentor Program. Trying to get all 40-50 families a copy! Please check out http://www.2foreverfriends.com and under events there is more info! Happy Friday !!
I would love to share this book with my children. I became severely deaf in my left ear when they were 1 & 2 (2 years ago) after surviving streptococcus pneumonia meningitis. I believe it would help remind them that I am different and if they want me to hear them, the need to adapt a little (even after 2 years, they still try to whisper in my deaf ear…makes me laugh). I also need to have something that they can keep in case I’m not always around to guide them (I had a bone marrow biopsy last week which turned out good so more than likely, I’ll be able to bug them their entire lives, but with two close calls so close together, I’m not taking chances. Live each day as though it could be your last.) Also, this book helps to teach children of the beauty of the world. In the end dealing with hearing loss has been a blessing and made me a better person. This wonderful book seems to encompass that feeling.
Kudos on writing such an awesome book. I am a grandmother who retired from education after 36 years, but I have lost my hearing these past months and I am struggling seemingly going through stages very similar to grief. My three reasons for feeling this book would be helpful to me is that conversing with my granddaughter has become very difficult & I am in hopes this book would help inspire both of us to be innovative in accommodations to help Nana to continue our close relationship. She and I are both avid readers. My granddaughter is nine & we love our library visits. Secondly, being a Friend of our local library & retired, but still a strong supporter of education, I would think this book would be one that should be shared for consideration of being placed in both school and public libraries for families to check out and share together. I would be able to expose this book to these institutions for consideration for possible adoption. Thirdly, hearing aids are no longer able to give me amplification because if the profoundness of this loss so I am facing cochlear implant decision making within the upcoming months, as well as the enrollment into sign language class for me and my family members. I would be dishonest saying that this is all being handled with ease, as I am really struggling with emotions being very hard on myself because of feeling like such an inconvenience for my friends & family not being able to converse Indepth without getting lost in the dialogue, no longer being able to hear on the phone missing hearing loved ones voices from afar, & my love of music has been jeopardized because favorite songs have become unrecognizable because of distortion in sounds. What I need. Is positive inspiration and I am hoping that reading this book will give me additional encouragement of the “I can do this…” allowing me to accept and be accepted in the world of hearing impaired / deaf community.
The 3 reasons I would like to own this book is one) It sounds like a keeper. It would be passed down the family. 2) I would like to keep in the family to read as children are born into our family in the years to come. 3) I love our two dogs who are my hearing helpers. The book sounds like something that is near and dear to my heart.
I am so thankful to all of your sweet comments. Excited for Shanna to announce the winner. Please visit us at http://www.2foreverfriends.com to order a copy of you did not win. My goal is to get this book into many homes to spread the word that hearing loss is ok.
Happy holidays to you all!
Allison Schley, Author
Pingback: Nowhere Man In Nowhere Land « deafinprison
And the winner of the Forever Friends book giveaway is … SUSAN REYNA. Congratulations, Susan! A special thank you to Author Allison Schley and everyone who entered the LipreadingMom.com contest. Be sure to check out Allison’s heartwarming book about a little boy and his dog, both of whom are deaf, at http://www.2foreverfriends.com. It would make a great gift for the special young person in your life!
Pingback: Job Opportunity « deafinprison