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Listening with My Heart Paperback – June 15, 1998
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
YA. The first Miss America with a disability tells her life story in a readable, engaging manner. Although profoundly deaf since the age of 18 months, Whitestone let little stand in her way to achieving her goals: to dance, to compete in pageants, to encourage others, and always to praise God. YAs will be interested in the steps involved in the various competitions that lead up to the Miss America competition, and her pageant platform, STARS (Success Through Action and Realization of your dreamS). After Whitestone won, she became the focus of controversy because she wears a hearing aid, uses oral speech, and occasionally signs in Signing Exact English. Her critics in the deaf community believe that she should communicate through American Sign Language. The controversy continues. The author describes her Miss America year, with the endless demands on her time and energy, the complete lack of privacy, and the times when she was so exhausted that she felt she could not keep going. What has always sustained her is her positive attitude, and her absolute faith in God. This inspirational biography will have wide appeal.?Judy Sokoll, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Although Heather Whitestone will be forever known as the first Miss America with a disability, she would probably prefer to be remembered as a young woman whose deafness taught her discipline and unwavering belief in God. In this sometimes saccharine memoir, Miss America 1995 recounts the story of her inspiring life, beginning with a childhood fever that left her profoundly deaf. That impairment would, in turn, leave her fiercely independent and strong willed. Whitestone, who chose hearing aids over signing, attended ballet classes to improve her speech rhythms and fell in love with dance. Her faith in God's dream for her was reflected in the positive way in which she built on her strengths and accepted her limitations in school, in community service, and in beauty pageants. The book leaves readers with a picture of the new Mrs. John McCallum who, if she could hear for one day, admits she would spend it on the beach listening to her husband's "precious voice." Patricia Hassler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Despite the fact that I am a Christian, there was maybe just a wee too much preachiness for me, and for non-believers or non-Christians, it could be just a little much. Don't get me wrong--she seems like a lovely person. She's very sincere. I liked the fact that she admitted that she was so tired from her schedule as Miss America that she didn't find time for prayer or the Bible. I love honesty. I hate it when people pretend to be perfect. I was interested to hear about the conflicts between her and the deaf community. I never knew that speaking, and not signing, would be a problem.
It's not just the preachiness, though; I guess the devil is in the details--so many organizations that had to be mentioned--I would read whole paragraphs that I have to admit just weren't very interesting to me. So maybe this is my problem. But I really enjoyed hearing about Heather's early life--about the fact that she had some of the problems that many people have--her parents' divorce, siblings that grew apart from her, and learning problems as the result of her handicap. And I think this is the first time that I have read in detail about the pressures of life as Miss America and it was eye-opening to me. I am so happy that she was able to give hope to many deaf people, especially children, and parents of deaf children.
She's an admirable woman and it's a good book.
Heather is an honest, open and Christian person. Her humility to share her fears, exasperations, even private darker moments is refreshing!
And then there is her deafness. She is honest and open here as well, lamenting at times the deaf culture, but also showing sensitivity to their plight.
I'm a page-bender, underliner, note-taker kind of reader who continually marks passages in the great reads that I have, and this book has so many of them. I wanted to communicate them in this review, but will choose to just give some salient phrases from them so that you'll read this marvelous book: "going to bed means getting some sleep"; returned autographs which included Scripture quotes; Miss America wearing a clown on her head; dreaming and God's Word.
Haven't read such a refreshing work in quite some time; treasure as a precious Christmas gift that it was.
Most recent customer reviews
I read the 1st book that Heathers mom wrote right after Miss America pageant.Read more