"Stuttering is referred to as stammering in this story, and although Elphie does not stutter often, it is clearly a cause of dismay when her 'wretched stammer' occurs. Elphie stutters during painful or difficult conversations. . . . She refers to stuttering as something that happens to her, not as something that she does." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
Based on a 1950 event in Wetumka, Oklahoma, that started their annual Sucker Day. The story features a "con man" and the first person in town to meet him, Bobbie Jo Hailey, a 10 year old who stutters. The book is written for children ages 9-12 and is about swindlers and swindling, friendship and stuttering.
This is about a fifteen year old boy who stutters.
"This story is not about stuttering, but about those dilemmas in life that have no completely satisfactory resolution. Marcus still stutters in the end. The author assumes in the story that the cause of stuttering is psychological stress, but she does not oversimplify the dynamics of this stress by making Marcus a victim of rejection or abuse. Marcus is a loved and valued member of his family and the community. The book captures the profound complexity of both stuttering and life itself." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"...A wonderfully written adventure in which stuttering is only a minor theme. (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This book is primarily a sports story. The drama of the story revolves around Billy Joe's courage. He goes out for football and succeeds despite his fear of rejection and his stuttering. . . . In this story, the treatment of stuttering as it relates to the theme of courage is problematic. The story implies that it is acceptable to stutter if one also has a showy talent with which to compensate." (Bushey and Martin, 1988).
"Although this delightful book is written very simply, it captures the essence of preschool. Emily's problem is treated honestly and realistically. Her disfluency is not called stuttering in the book, and there is no indication that the disfluencies are caused by nervousness. Emily is just as disfluent in her mother's lap as she is at school. Her life changes for the better with an attitude change, but there is no immediate change in the speech pattern." (Bushey and Martin, 1988).
About an alligator who stutters, "this story is a sweet, although superficial, moral tale about not judging someone by the way he or she looks. The story does not, however, address the issue of intolerance toward stuttering. . . an odd oversight in a book that is written mainly to discourage prejudice." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
A short story aimed at what the book describes as 'newly fluent' readers. It is about Andrew, who stammers. He thinks everybody at school is laughing at him and does his best not to be noticed. He is generally silent. The book hints that his stammering is attributed to unhappiness since his father died. His teacher has written a school play and wants everybody in the class to take part. The part the teacher has written for Andrew is the Golden Bird. Because of the audience and his mother's reaction to his part in the play, Andrew becomes happy. The end of the story is the only time Andrew speaks and he doesn't stammer. It does not say that Andrew can now speak fluently because he is no longer sad, but one can be left wondering whether the author intended to suggest that is why Andrew is now fluent, thus reinforcing the idea that stammering is caused by emotional distress. . (reviewed by Claire Tupling, University of York)
"The plot. . . is weak and disjointed. The characters have action, but little substance. . . . The interaction between facets of Sonny's own personality, including the stuttering, is largely unexplained and unexplored." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This story is interesting, but the characters somehow never become unique and important. Paul's stuttering appears to be a device for emphasizing his timid nature. The stuttering occurs infrequently, and with no apparent pattern. The book offers little real insight into stuttering." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This story is superficial. The plot is implausible, and the characters are unexciting. With regard to stuttering, the book has some good insights, but (the main character's) 'cure' is not convincing." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"In this story, stuttering is interwoven with timidness and self-consciousness. This stereotype is, perhaps, a minor weakness in the book, but the beauty of the story far outweighs any such shortcoming. (The book) has rich illustrations and an emotionally satisfying plot. It is a lyrical, completely charming, romantic fantasy." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
This Dear America book is about a freed slave girl named Patsy. Although Patsy stutters, she shows courage to speak. Patsy writes about how frustrated she gets with her stuttering. People think she is dumb but she is really very smart. (This book also very good reviews by lots of kids and can be ordered through this link if you want).
This is a very short story for very young children (ages 2-4), about a ghost who says b-b-b-boo and feels a little withdrawn about it, but gets supported by his friends. (Starkweather - will be included as an appendix in Starkweather and Ackerman's new book, due out in 1996).
In this story, "stuttering, because it is mild and transient in (this child's) case, is presented as a minor 'difference.'" (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This is an interesting book in which stuttering is dealt with realistically and with considerable insight." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"The book describes some of the awkward situation created by stuttering with a wicked kind of humor, and clearly concludes that stuttering is a psychological problem." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
A book for children ages 6-9 about Mary Marony who has a problem with stuttering, and a problem with classmate. With the help of her mother and new classmates, Mary, who is in second grade, sees a speech therapist about her stuttering problem.
Mary is so embarrassed about her stuttering that she almost misses a chance to have lunch with her favorite author who has come to speak at the school.
Mary wants to be something scary for Halloween so she can get back at Marvin, who makes fun of her stuttering.
"This book is rich in detailed descriptions of stuttering and the experience of being a stutter. Common theories and superstitions about stuttering are woven into the story." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This story is set post-doomsday in a cruel futuristic society. . . . Isaac is the main character. . . .He hops about, repeats words over and over, and talks in a sing-song manner. . . . In Isaac, stuttering is part of a craven, morally deficient personality. The stuttering decreases and eventually is overcome as Isaac grows in moral strength and courage." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This book is. . . an interesting and exciting story. Stuttering is mainly a device used by the author to give (the main character) a distinctly human frailty and to indicate when the young man was under an emotional strain. Importantly, (he) is not a weak character, as are many stutterers in fictional literature. (He) is romantically attractive, and no more or less insecure than most young me. He is not overly embarrassed by his stuttering. The very unimportance of stuttering in this story adds to the book's positive emotional impact." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"Stuttering, the speech disorder explored most fully in the story, is perceived to be a psychological maladjustment to 'poor mothering.'" Provides an interesting historical review for anyone interested in the field of Communication Disorders, as the main character graduates with a degree in speech pathology during the 1950's. ((Bushey and Martin, 1988)
This is not aimed specifically at children but Pratchetts books appear to be very popular among teenagers. It is a fantasy book. The stammering character is called Simon. He is not the major character but is quite important. Peter Knutsen, a high school junior, reviews this book as following:
The person who stutters, Simon, is portrayed as highly intelligent, a talented wizard's apprentice, with a natural gift for understanding magic better than other wizards. He is a bit nerdy, but I think that's fair enough.
Pratchett could have made a lot of jokes about Simon, but he doesn't. Simon's stutter is treated well by the people around him, they do finish the words for him sometimes (which is bad, of course) but he is accepted for what he is.
Simon is portrayed as a real human being, his stutter is just a feature, and no attempts is made to use the stutter to explain anything about him, or define him as a person. Pratchett's satirical fantasy stories have a certain psychological realism and internal consistency that is rare in literary entertainment, so if I had not read that particular book, but just heard that Pratchett had written a novel with a PWS in it, I'd have trusted him to treat the handicap in a fair way, based on my familiarity with his writings.
"Equal Rites" is a book in the Discworld series. The books can be read independently, although some of them are mini-series spanning 2-3 books. "Equal Rites" is either a stand-alone story or the beginning of a series.
A book about Armann who is six years old and stutters, and his cat, Gentle. Orginally written in Icelandic, Armann and Gentle has been translated into English, and is available from the Stuttering Foundation of America.
"...A wonderful story about the nature of children and, more generally, about the challenge of survival. . . . Frankie becomes fluent as a result of breathing exercises and changing his attitude about the world. This book is a joy to read because it contains genuine and thoughtful observations about children living together and coping with reality." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)
"This story is about racial and ethnic prejudice and about the misery of self-pity. Good humor and real insight, however, save the story from becoming tedious and sermon-like." (Bushey and Martin, 1988)