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Notes from a Children's Librarian: The Power of Oral Language

Stuttering, speech writing, the loss of indigenous language, and the power of speaking up — all aspects of oral language addressed in the books on this list.

Book Cover I Talk Like a River

I Talk Like a River is by Jordan Smith, illustrated by Sydney Smith. Beautiful painted images accompany this moving first person narrative of a boy who stutters. His teacher asks the class to make a speech and in order to cope he remembers what his father’s words: “See how that water moves? That’s how you speak.” To prevent himself from crying or avoiding speaking at all, he tells himself: “I also think of the calm river beyond the rapids…. Even the river stutters. Like I do.”

This book is filled with metaphors and similes, such as, “The P in pine tree grows roots inside my mouth and tangles my tongue.” And personification: “When the words around me are hard, I think of the proud river.” (Kindergarten to Grade 6)

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Book Cover Adventures of a Stuttering Superhero

Adventures of a Stuttering Superhero, by Kim Block, illustrated by Cheryl Cameron, is only available as an e-book. Kim Block has written 3 books in the life of Gra …

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