How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)
Author: Patricia L. Mervine
Illustrator: Ian Acker
Available from: www.speakingofspeech.com — all books are autographed by the author
Details: 40 pages, colorfully illustrated, softcover
Price: $21 (including shipping and applicable taxes)
“How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)” celebrates that which makes us all unique, but also highlights how sometimes a little help is needed to show us how much we are alike. The story is told by a fourth grade classmate of Katie, the new girl in school. All the adults and students in Cherry Street Elementary, even the principal and custodian, have nicknames related to their individual interests and personalities. When Katie comes into the class, the students are eager to involve her in their activities and to learn what is special about her. This proves to be quite a challenge. Katie has significant physical disabilities which make her dependent on a Personal Care Assistant for everything, even communicating. How can Katie fit in with her classmates when she can’t even talk? When Katie is introduced to assistive technology, she is finally able to communicate with her new friends. As a result, the students are delighted to see her as a person with many interests and abilities, just like them. Katie knows she is a valued member of the school when she is given her own special nickname.
This book can be read in the classroom, in therapy, and at home as a way to open a discussion about acceptance, inclusion, disability etiquette, and overcoming challenges through assistive technology.
“How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)” was written by a speech/language pathologist and assistive technology consultant who has worked with children who are nonverbal, for 20 years. The charming watercolor and ink illustrations capture the personalities and emotions of the characters in the story. The book ends with a list of ways to interact appropriately with people who have a variety of disabilities, written in kid-friendly terms. Discussion questions related to disability awareness, the positive and negative aspects of nicknames, and the many ways in which we all communicate are posted on the Lesson Plans & Data Forms page of www.speakingofspeech.com.
The 8.5”x11” illustrated book is 40 pages, softcover, and sells for $21 (includes s&h) at www.speakingofspeech.com.
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