I’ve always wanted to write a book relating my experiences growing up as a deaf child in Chicago. Contrary to what people might think, it wasn’t all about hearing aids and speech classes for me or frustrations that I felt growing up deaf. I grew up in the early 70’s and it was very Brady Bunch with our family, with a funny, Matlin twist. Here’s one example. We had a dog, Apples. But unlike Tiger on the Brady Bunch, our dog was 13 years old, toothless, blind and had the worst breath this side of Jabba the Hut. But he was the sweetest dog you could ever ask for and I cried and cried when he died.
I also had a lot of friends in the neighborhood and drove everyone crazy with my Billy Joel music (I would learn his lyrics and listen for the beat while I signed the words in time with the music). These were the kinds of experiences I wanted to share with other kids. So, last year, I asked Jack Jason, my producing partner, and a writer friend of mine, Rick Bitzelberger to help me put down some ideas on paper. Little by little the stories came together and soon I was looking at a 126-page manuscript that Simon and Shuster agreed to publish. Thanks to Jack and Rick for their help!
Here’s the description from the inside of the book jacket:
Cindy looked straight at Megan. Now she looked a little frustrated. “What’s the matter? Are you deaf or something?” she yelled back. Megan screamed out, and then fell to the ground, laughing hysterically. “How did you know that?” she asked as she laughed. Megan is excited when Cindy moves into her neighborhood — maybe she’ll finally have a best friend. Sure enough, the two girls quickly become inseparable. Cindy even starts to learn sign language so they can communicate more easily.
But when they go away to summer camp together, problems arise. Cindy feels left out because Megan is spending all of her time with Lizzie, another deaf girl; Megan resents that Cindy is always trying to help her, even when she doesn’t need help. Before they can mend their differences, both girls have to learn what it means to be a friend. Deaf Child Crossing will strike a chord with anyone who has ever had, or wanted, a best friend.