April 20, 2016

The Importance of Voice

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I've said before that one of my greatest pleasures in being a sign language instructor is helping parents and caregivers teach their babies how to communicate using signs before they can talk. In essence, I'm helping pre-verbal babies find their voices. I also find it exciting when a child who speaks a non-dominant language finds his or her "classroom voice" through sign language, and I've said that one of the most rewarding aspects of being an author is being invited into schools and community spaces to help young writers find their voices.

I've written about how distracting it can be when an author's voice is inauthentic, and I've written about the power of having the right voices around the table. I've shared with young writers that one of the reasons I write is because I want my voice to be heard, and I've celebrated when young people find and use their own voices to advocate for themselves. I've also been known to take pause from my creative projects to give voice to issues that concern me in my local community such as Strong School Libraries and respect for and adherence to Public Process.

Image Source: Amber's Website
Suffice it to say, voice matters to me. Which is probably why I am so taken with Amber J. Keyser's, The V-Word: True Stories About First Time Sex. It is beautifully written. Thought provoking. Important. And, all about voice. I recently contributed a guest blog post about sharing this book with my teenage daughter. You can read my post here: Dear Katia, Love Mom.

If you are raising a young woman, this book is for her (and for you). It's honest, explicit and empowering. Go get yours.

If you'd like to add your voice to the conversation, please share in the comments section below.

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