Have you met Katie? She's the new girl in school,
and this is her story.
The story is told by a fourth grade classmate of Katie. Everyone in the school has a nickname related to individual interests and personalities. When Katie comes into the classroom, 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. How can Katie fit in with her classmates when she can't even talk?
"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.
Read this book in the classroom, in therapy, and at home to open a discussion about acceptance, inclusion, disability etiquette, and overcoming challenges of all kinds.
Written by Patricia L. Mervine Illustrated by Ian Acker
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The Reviews are in.....
From US REVIEW OF BOOKS: reviewed by Mihir Shah
Conjure the moment when a new student steps into the foreign environment of the classroom. Thoughts such as "will anyone be my friend," "is the teacher nice or mean," "will it be different from my old school," race through the student's mind as he walks to the front of the class for introductions. Experienced speech and language pathologist, Patricia Mervine, expertly weaves story and learning concepts to allow readers, especially school-aged students, to enter into Katie's mind and see life from her perspective. In this narrative, not only do students discover Katie's similarities, but they also come to the realization that students with disabilities have special talents. In reality, Mervine's message is not just for the elementary level; the narrative is an excellent source of information for the entire student body at all levels—K-16 and beyond. Told from a fourth grader's point of view, the author emphasizes the appreciation of one's uniqueness. The narrator, Miguel "the Punster" specializes in providing nicknames to his classmates based on their talents and behaviors. When Katie enters the classroom with Miss Hanscomb, her personal care assistant, she is able to communicate only by blinking and smiling. As a result, the class is unsure of Katie's likes and dislikes, and can't give her a proper nickname. However, when a switch connected to a communication device allows Katie to express herself, Miguel and his classmates become ecstatic and get to work on her nickname. There are global ramifications to this children's story, which meticulously and seamlessly integrates professional concepts of speech and language pathology into a setting children can comprehend. Mervine's How Katie Got a Voice is, without a doubt, a must read for children, educators, parents, and audiences worldwide. RECOMMENDED by the USR
From PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) VOICE: When Patricia Mervine’s uncle lost his ability to communicate because of a progressive neurological disease, it seemed to also take away his humanity.
Her uncle was much of the inspiration behind a children’s book, “How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname),’’ written by Mervine, a speech/language pathologist and assistive technology consultant with Bucks County IU 22.
“Family, friends, and even medical professionals did not know how to deal with someone who cannot respond, and righting this wrong became and remains the driving force of my career,’’ said Mervine, who is currently assigned to Oliver Heckman Elementary in the Neshaminy School District.
From the Midwest Book Review:
...... Illustrated with simple, lightly outlined color pictures on almost every page, "How Katie Got a Voice" is an excellent teaching tool that parents and teachers can use to help children better understand people with disabilities. Highly recommended! Read more at http://www.midwestbookreview.com/cbw/jan_13.htm
Keli rated it "How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)" by Patricia L. Mervine is an endearing story for children of all ages. Katie is a unique elementary school student with communication and physical disabilities. When Katie attends a new school, she gains more than a new voice. She gains new friends! This heartfelt story is a wonderful reminder that differences only play a SMALL role in our lives. "How Katie Got a Voice(and a cool new nickname)" is a wonderful option for family, classroom and therapy read alouds. Katie and her friends are sure to inspire acceptance for generations to come.
This book is adorable as well as helpful. My eight-year-old daughter and I read this book together and she liked it as well. She told me there is a girl at her school, who like Katie, is in a wheelchair. I really liked the list of good manners at the back of the book and it helped me talk with my daughter about a subject that might not come up very often (except when she sees a service dog and wants to run up and pet it). I like that the differences in all the kids are celebrated in the book, too often kids get caught up in trying to be like all the other kids that they forget to accept and embrace what makes them unique.
Lisa rated it Great book. I have tried to raise my kids to respect others and teach them that differences are what make us great. This is just the type of book that illustrates that point. It is a great example that we are all beautiful in some way and deserve to be treated kindly. Thank you for the book and the chance to read it.
Britt rated it I was really impressed with the way this book handled a somewhat sensitive topic. I enjoyed the book, and found it to be a really good book for kids to read when they need to understand disabilities. I would definitely recommend it.