Friday Question #158 - Books with a Deaf Protagonist

Happy Friday, Readers!

Share a book that features a Deaf protagonist and help a fellow reader check off a square on the March Bookish Bingo board.

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So True Biz by Sara Novic features a deaf protagonist but there is also the graphic novel Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, which features LGBTQ+ rep as well.


You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardener features a deaf graffiti artist main character.

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I read Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. The deaf character isn’t the main character but there are chapters that follow her so I think it counts.

I picked Deaf Utopia, since it was advertised on my library’s website. I kind of thought it was going to be sort of an eye-rolling biography about some vapid semi-celebrity…it wasn’t. The author grew up in a 4 generation deep deaf family and talked a lot about deaf culture and it’s history as he talked about how it impacted his life. I recommend it!


Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly.

I’ve not read it yet, but I found The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon, which looks really interesting.

“The Sign for Home”, by Blair Fell
The young man is deaf and blind. Excellent book, Highly recommend. Published April 2022

Sugaring Off by Gillian French!

I read Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone… :laughing:

Signs of Survival by Renee Hartman. She and her deaf sister survived the Holocaust, so the book is their story.

I had also picked up The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais, but hadn’t had the time to finish it this month. Deaf teen has to transfer to mainstream hearing school.

I second the recommendations for True Biz and Deaf Utopia (both by Deaf authors). I would also recommend:

Haben: the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard Law memoir by Haben Girma

Show Me a Sign middlegrade fiction series by Deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte (book 3 in series out November 2023)

One notable book featuring a Deaf protagonist is “El Deafo” by Cece Bell. This graphic novel is a memoir and a Newbery Honor book. It tells the story of Cece, a young girl who loses her hearing due to illness at a young age and must navigate the challenges of growing up with a hearing impairment. The book offers an insightful and often humorous look at her experiences wearing a powerful and somewhat awkward hearing aid called the “Phonic Ear,” which she affectionately dubs “El Deafo.”

“El Deafo” is not only a story about Deafness but also a universal tale of friendship, self-acceptance, and the trials and tribulations of childhood. Cece’s journey to find her own “superpowers” despite her hearing loss resonates with readers of all ages and backgrounds. The book’s unique graphic novel format adds depth and visual storytelling to the narrative, making it an engaging and accessible read for both children and adults.

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