Books


What they're saying:

"In telling the story of his very unique childhood, Myron Uhlberg has created a book that is universal. His feelings of love and responsibility, of shame and enormous pride, can teach us all something about being a member of a family. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this book."
–Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Run

"'What I remember most vividly are the hands of my father,' Uhlberg writes in this moving memoir of his childhood as the hearing son of two deaf parents...His strongest feelings are reserved for his remarkable father, whom he loved deeply, a man who–despite his silence–was eloquent in his expressions of love for his family and curiosity about the world. 'My language is in my hands,' he once told him. 'My memories are in my hands.' Those memories have been beautifully served by Uhlberg in this heartfelt book."
Booklist

"In this moving memoir, Hands of my Father, Myron Uhlberg captures the essence of one exceptional family's life in Brooklyn in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Uhlberg is a compassionate writer of truths. His book is full of surprises, written with a generous, loving spirit. In vivid scenes–sometimes wrenching, sometimes mischievous and sometimes hilarious–he takes us inside the singular world of his childhood. And there the reader discovers the profound, everyday courage exemplified by each member of the Uhlberg family."
–Lou Ann Walker, author of A Loss for Words

"He [Uhlberg] gives readers a well-crafted, heartwarming tale of family love and understanding."
Publisher's Weekly

"Fascinating.... [Uhlberg’s] circumstance made his childhood exceptional and well worth recalling, which he does in an unpretentious but vividly evocative style."
Wall Street Journal


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Other works



IT IS THE SUMMER OF 1947 and a highly charged baseball season is underway in New York. Jackie Robinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers--and the first black player in Major League Baseball. A young boy shares the excitement of Robinson's rookie season with his deaf father.

Each day he listens eagerly to the Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. When his father arrives home from work, the boy uses sign language to tell him about the Dodgers. His father begins to keep a scrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play in person!

Author Myron Uhlberg offers a nostalgic look back at 1947, and pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, the legendary athlete and hero who brought a father and son--and an entire New York community--together for one magical summer. Illustrator Colin Bootman's realistic, full-color illustrations capture the details of the period and the excitement of an entire city as Robinson helps the Dodgers win the long-awaited pennant.

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A YOUNG BOY trudges through deep snow in a neighborhood park. Suddenly a strong wind grabs his coat and lifts the child up into the air. Soon the boy is soaring high above his strangely silent, snow-covered neighborhood. As he flies over familiar sites--a bridge over a frozen river, a baseball field, and an amusement park--he gains a new perspective on the world around him. The boy’s airborne adventure provides a magical--if temporary--escape from the routine of everyday life. In the end the boy returns to the safety of his home and family, but is left wondering: Was it all just a marvelous dream or did it really happen?

Author Myron Uhlberg's story is based in part on his own childhood memories of the Great Blizzard of 1947 which blanketed Brooklyn and the surrounding area under several feet of snow. An author's note at the back of the book provides details about the snowstorm and places this fantasy in its historical context. Illustrator Gerald Fitzgerald's two-page, gently softened illustrations beautifully evoke the story’s nostalgia and dreamlike quality.

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LEMUEL IS A FISHERMAN and a fool. He dreams of building a boat that will take him across the sea to the enchanted, magical city that he is sure must lie just beyond the horizon. As time passes, his dream grows stronger and despite his wife's protests, Lemuel sets out on his journey. How will he know he's going the right way? He ties a red scarf on the bow and a rope to the stern; as long as the scarf waves before him and the rope trails behind, he knows he'll be heading in the right direction.

Disoriented after a storm, Lemuel lands near a strange new village--except that it's strangely familiar, from the boats drawn up on the dock, to the hissing cats in the street, to the woman who looks and talks exactly like his own dear wife and lives in a house exactly like his own. The strange woman even calls him by name and makes him come home for dinner--where the furniture looks just like that in his home and the clothes he changes into fit him quite well. Later that night, a very confused Lemuel sets sail for home, telling himself, "I've had enough of this madness." With the red scarf before him and the rope trailing behind, he's confident he’ll arrive at home again--and be safely back among the familiar.

A great fan of Jewish folklore, especially the rich tradition of "fools" and stories of Chelm, Myron Uhlberg also looked to his own family for inspiration when writing Lemuel the Fool. His maternal grandfather, John, was consumed by wanderlust and "was always looking for the next great adventure, the next opportunity, the next place he could prosper--which was always somewhere else." Young readers will enjoy the silly charm of Lemuel's journey, beautifully illustrated by Sonja Lamut.
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"As a boy, my father learned to speak with his hands. As a man, he learned how to turn lead-type letters into words and sentences. My father loved being a printer.”

Each day in 1940s New York a young boy watches as his father goes to work in the noisy newspaper printing factory. But the boy’s father only feels the machines’ loud pounding and rumbling as vibrations through the soles of his shoes. He is deaf. Although his father communicates with a few other deaf printers through his hands, he feels largely ignored by his hearing co-workers. But when a silent deadly fire erupts, it is up to the father to warn and save his coworkers, even when they cannot hear him over the printers.

Myron Uhlberg draws on his own experiences as the hearing son of deaf parents to create this dramatic, evocative story that reflects a respect for deaf culture and the unique gifts each individual possesses. Historical details are deftly rendered and brought to life in Henri Sørenson’s extraordinary paintings that dramatize and illuminate the powerful text.


A moving story of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the people of New Orleans, as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy

Louis Daniel hates it when Mama treats him like a baby. But when Hurricane Katrina blows through the Gulf Coast on a fateful August night, Louis feels like a little kid again.

With no time to gather their belongings - except Louis's beloved horn - Daddy leads the family from their home and into an unfamiliar, watery world of floating debris, lurking critters, and desperate neighbors heading for dry ground.

Taking shelter in the already-crowded Superdome, Louis and his parents wait...and wait. Conditions continue to worsen and their water supply is running out. When Daddy fails to return from a scouting mission within the Dome, Louis knows he's no longer a baby. It's up to him to find his father - with the help of his prized cornet.

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Experience the sights and sounds of 1930s Brooklyn and Coney Island through the eyes—and ears—of a hearing boy and his deaf parents.

A Brooklyn family takes an outing to Coney Island, where they enjoy the rides, the food, and the sights. The father longs to know how everything sounds. Though his son does his best to interpret their noisy surroundings through sign language, he struggles to convey the subtle differences between the “loud” of the ocean and the “loud” of a roller coaster. When the family drops in at the library after dinner, the boy makes a discovery. Perhaps the words he needs are within reach, after all.

Myron Uhlberg’s story, based on his own childhood experiences, covers the almost unique topic within children’s books of children raised by deaf parents. Ted Papoulas beautifully and sensitively portrays the family’s day to bring the whole experience to life for readers.