Category: Deaf Education

HALFLING, a New YA Novel with Bonus Features: Book Club, Virtual and Homeschool Curriculum Options

Halfling (2016) by debut author, Donna Marie Robb

Donna Marie Robb is a writer who has a dream … actually, a whole lot of dreams! Her debut young adult fantasy novel, Halfling, chronicles the story of Remmi, a young girl who is vacillates between Dreamearth and Realearth.   As her story unfolds you realize that Robb wrote Remmi to be a strong protagonist who has experienced more in her few short years than most do in a lifetime.

As the story commences you learn that Remmi was orphaned as a child, so she thought. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she ends up in an unusual living situation where she is among “drones” who have been voided of thoughts.  Her life in slavery ends when she realizes that her skill-set includes a touch of magic.  As a clever and precocious teen, Remmi uses her new found abilities to escape and go forth to help others. Her story of survivorship grabbed me within the first two chapters. (And, robbed me of precious hours of sleep as I couldn’t put the book down!)

The story ebbs and flows between one “earth” to another – similar to other YA books such as The Giver or Harry Potter, where alternate realms help enhance the intrigue. While Halfling was written for the tween and teen audience, my husband and friends also became fast fans and thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner!

Plus, the animated video, created by the very talented Dara Blaker, gives Remmi a voice and makes reading Halfling even more enticing!

 

Meet the author, Donna Marie Robb

I have had the pleasure of knowing the author for many years.  Her ability to have insight in to the psyche of young adults’ is clearly evidenced by her writing of Halfling.  She also is a librarian who cares about the youth of our country and their education and attainment of literacy skills. That is why she decided to introduce a book club and a homeschool / virtual school curriculum as adjunct features to Halfling. 

 

View the Halfling Book Club page!

The book club allows students to expand the discussion regarding Halfling with fun and thought-provoking questions.  Also, they can engage with the author by using the contact form or comment section on the Book Club page. Check out the book club feature here.

About the Homeschool / Virtual School Curriculum

Coming soon will be a curriculum for home educated  / virtual schooled students. This will be a four to six -week literacy based guide to instruction with Halfling as the featured text.  Students will be able to delve in to the book, explore their own “dreams”, keep a journal and compare and contrast the themes of the book with current events.

Let the author know you are interested in the Homeschool Curriculum by filling out this contact form.  (And, ask in the comment section how you can get the book and curriculum for FREE – an offer that is time limited.)

Why Halfling is needed in OUR world

On a closing note,  as a School Psychologist I believe we need books like Halfling.  The character, Remmi, is likable but also a role model for tweens and teens.  She exemplifies what it is like to be a resilient child with a will to overcome all obstacles in her way – including evil and persecution.  I won’t give away the ending – but know that it is not predictable.

Halfling and the adventures of Remmi are easy on the budget. Kindle version is free for unlimited prime members, $2.99 for basic Kindle and $11.99 for paperback. All can be found here: AMAZON.

And, my hashtags for this book would be … #MustRead #FreshOriginalPremise

 

 

 

 

 

I am part of the social media team helping to promote this amazing author and Halfling. Trust me when I say it is my pleasure to represent such an amazing talent!

 

 

 

5 Tips to Learning Sign Language – videos included

Sign language is popular!  Why? Because, this past year, Deaf actor, dancer and model – Nyle DiMarco not only took top honors as America’s Next Top Model, but also won with partner, Peta Murgatroyd, Dancing with the Stars  !   An amazing feat!

It was exciting to see how Nyle seamlessly weaved his world of ASL with dance.  Moreover, his enthusiasm for sign language has had a serious trickle down effect – as many hearing people now are motivated to learn this beautiful visual language.

Related: See the dances and scores from #DWTS here

If you are a person who would love to learn the basics of sign language, but don’t know where to start – let me help! I put together a series of videos now available on my YouTube channel and just added my 5 TIPS to LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE (also posted below).

Shamelessly, I will add here that you will find resources, free videos and downloadable sign language images on my website – SIGNING FAMILIES.

Before I end this blog with the 5 Tips for Learning Sign Language videos,  I want to publicly thank Nyle for all he does to promote ASL in our communities and for advocating for Deaf children and bilingualism. BRAVO!

See an important video about Nyle’s Foundation

Get your fingers “warmed up”… here come my 5 tips for learning sign language!

TIP #1 :  Learn 5 NEW signs daily!

 

Tip #2 – PRACTICE! EVERY SINGLE DAY!

 

TIP #3 – Learn from native ASL users – Deaf signers!

 

TIP #4 – Sign what you see!

 

TIP #5 – We all make mistakes!

 

 

 

Sign Language Video and Photography to Help First Responders (and others) Communicate During Emergencies, Including Evacuation Scenarios

As I type this blog I am watching CNN news reporting from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) about the terrorist threat that forced their schools to close today.  Luckily, students were not in session, thus avoiding a massive evacuation across an entire city.  But, what if students had been in the classrooms, including Deaf students who use sign language to communicate? Would our school staff and emergency responders been able to evacuate all safely?

Knowing a few words in sign language can save lives.

So, I am asking on behalf of those who are  Deaf or use sign as a preferred mode for communication if you would take a few moments to learn a few signs.

The video below is a quick intro to sign language terms used for evacuations. The video is not captioned as it was intended for hearing people who do not know sign language. Many of the same words are provided with captions in photos, below.   You are welcome to copy the photos in this blog below and share with others. Consider these photos FREE SHARE.

Additional emergency vocabulary photos are available on SigningFamilies.com and via videos on my youtube channel.

 

 

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‼️GIVING BACK TO OUR FIRST RESPONDERS

If you are a member of a  Fire Department, Police Department or Ambulance Corp. and wish a free Sign Language for Emergency Situations DVD with an emergency communication card (by Signing Families, 2010), please connect by sending an email to INFO >at< Signing Families <dot> com. Please  provide details of where you work. This offer is good until January 15, 2016 to the first 25 agencies that connect.  Only one per facility, please.

LASTLY…

Note: Remember that instructional materials and quick courses should not be considered a replacement for a qualified  sign language interpreter.

For additional information please go to http://www.SigningFamilies.com for resources and much more!

Be safe!

xo,

Louise

 

 

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